Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cooking for Two: French Bread and Various Rolls

French Bread
1/3 cup water
¾ teaspoon yeast
¾ teaspoon sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil (can substitute with a heaping teaspoon of shortening if you want)
2/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon flour
Dissolve yeast into water.  Add sugar, salt and oil.  Add flour.  Let rise until doubled.  Shape into a long loaf for French bread.  You can also divide the dough into three parts and braid it into a loaf of bread.  This dough is great for kids to play with and make Teddy bears, dinosaurs, letters to write their name, snakes, etc.  You can also make bread bowls and serve with a cream based soup inside.  Another thing you can do is to make rolls and use them for sandwiches or hamburgers.  It is a very versatile dough.  Bake at 350 until lightly brown, about 15-18 minutes.  I made this dough in a food processor.

Orange Rolls
¾ teaspoon yeast
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup lukewarm to warm but NOT hot milk
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons whisked egg
1 Tablespoon orange juice
About 1 plus 1/3 cup flour
Orange icing:  2 teaspoons plus 1/3 cup powdered sugar
Soften yeast in warm water.  Add milk butter, sugar and salt.  Add whisked egg.  Stir in flour and tablespoon of orange juice.  You may not need all of the flour.  My dough was a little bit stick and worked wonderfully.  I made this in a food processor.  Put in small lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise until doubled, almost 2 hours.  Divide dough into 6-8 parts.  Roll each part into a 9-10 inch snake and knot or twist.  Cover and let rise another 45 minutes to an hour.  Bake at 375 for about 11-12 minutes, until lightly brown.  Put onto a cooling rack.  Mix icing and put on rolls.  Because rolls are still warm, the icing will cover them with a thin layer.  I actually did an experiment and added all of the ingredients in order and then added the flour.  I didn’t warm the milk or melt the butter just to see if it would work.  They did work, but I did it again according to the recipe and they worked better.  This dough is heavier so it doesn’t rise as well as some other bread recipes.  Don’t be concerned.  They will rise when they get into the oven.  Enjoy.

Dinner Rolls
1 cup flour (I used 7/8 and it worked better)
2 Tablespoon whisked egg
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon yeast
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon butter
I made these in a food processor.  The first time I made them, they looked great, but were a little bit drier than I like them.  The second time, I put less flour and they rose a little better and were perfect.  The dough was pretty sticky the second time, but was fine by the end of the first rise.  Mix ingredients together, adding flour last and adding only as much as you need.  Put in small lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise for 1 ½ hours.  Roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface and brush lightly with melted butter.  Cut into 8 parts (triangles) like you would a pie.  Starting with the large end, roll towards the center to make a crescent roll.  Pinch the point so the dough doesn’t unroll and place on a piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet to rise.  This is a heavier dough that will not rise as fast as other bread dough, but will rise more in the oven.  If you don’t want to use parchment paper, you can grease the cookie sheet.  Once you get used to parchment paper, I bet you won’t want to do without it.  You can reuse it too!  Let rise for about an hour.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.  Place on cooling rack.

Cinnamon Rolls
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon butter
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon yeast
2 Tablespoons whisked egg
Scant 1 cup flour
¼ cup warm milk, NOT hot
2 Tablespoons sugar
Mix warm milk, sugar and yeast.  Let this sit for a few minutes until yeast is bubbly.  Add eggs, butter, salt and only as much flour as you need.  Put in oiled cereal bowl and cover.  I made these in a food processer and made them twice.  The first time they didn’t turn out as well as I wanted.  I put a little less flour the second time and brushed less butter and put less cinnamon sugar on them and they worked perfectly.  Put dough in small lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise about 1 ½ hours.  Roll on a lightly floured surface into a 6 inch x10 inch rectangle.  Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 
Cinnamon sugar:  I used 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar with ¾ teaspoon cinnamon.  It was a little heavy on the cinnamon, but it was fine for us.  Mix whatever ratio tastes good to you.  Some people use brown sugar and some use white.  I used a little of each in mine. 
Roll up starting at the 6 inch end.  When you are done rolling, pinch the end and edges so the cinnamon sugar won’t leak out.  Cut into 4 cinnamon rolls.  Let rise on a piece of parchment paper or buttered pan for about an hour.  Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown.  Put on cooling rack.  Make icing and frost while rolls are slightly warm.
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1 Tablespoon cream cheese
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla
About 6 Tablespoons powdered sugar

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