A Small Batch Thanksgiving –Scoop and Bake Dinner Rolls

Hey all, I know Thanksgiving isn’t for a couple of weeks yet but I work in retail and know I won’t have the time or energy to post this on Thanksgiving day.

In this season of thankfulness and gratitude, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you all how thankful and grateful I am that all you, my dear readers, have taken the time over the last year to spend time with me here on A Solitary Feast.  You constantly amaze me with your kindness and generosity of spirit.  You will never know how much that means to me.  Thank you so much.  Have a great Thanksgiving and a peaceful Holiday season.

Scoop and Bake Dinner Rolls

From Cook’s Country

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 ¼ tsp rapid rise yeast

1 cup lukewarm water (110 – 115 degrees)

6 TBS butter, softened

1 large egg

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Maintain temperature for 10 minutes then turn off the oven.  Grease the muffin tins.  Whisk 1 ¼ cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  Whisk water, butter, and egg until very smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add remaining flour and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined.  Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and place in the warm oven until the batter is doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the oven and punch the dough down.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the batter nearly reaches the rims of the muffin tins (let rise at room temperature), about 15 minutes.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake until golden, 14-18 minutes. Rolls can be stored in  and airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Grant Bread — Rye Version

I am back from my time out and ready to blog again. It is strange, once I decided to quit blogging, I couldn’t wait to stop but towards the end of my break, I could hardly wait to start blogging again. I really missed the act of preparing recipes, pictures and posts for you. Most of all I missed the connection I have with all of you wonderful people who read my blog. Thank you for all your support during my time out.

Even though I wasn’t blogging, I still spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking. One recipe that really inspired me during my time out was My Favorite Pastime’s recipe for Grant bread. I love recipes that inspire me to get in the kitchen and try my own variations. The Grant bread recipe has certainly inspired me to do that. I have made a loaf of Grant bread once a week for the last 4 weeks, each loaf a variation on the original whole wheat version.

This week’s crazy culinary experiment was to try a caraway rye version of the Grant loaf. I knew it was going to be a bit tricky substituting a lower gluten flour like rye for wheat. I added the caraway seeds and molasses because my favorite rye bread recipes use them. The result was a very mild rye bread. The next time I try it I may use a medium or dark rye flour instead of light rye flour for a more robust rye taste.

Grant Bread -- Rye Version

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 TBS molasses
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 x 5 inch bread pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, yeast, sugar and caraway seeds, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine warm water and molasses, stir to dissolve. Add the water/ molasses mixture to the flour; mix well. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set the pan aside in a warm place and let rise for 40 minutes or until the dough rises to a half inch of the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Make Your Own Bread — English Muffins

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I try really hard not to buy a lot of cooking gadgets. I would like to say it is because I am old school and like to do things the old fashioned way but the truth is I don’t have a lot of money to spare for gadgets and even less space to store the gadgets I am only going to use once. My rule of thumb is if I can’t think of at least two things to do with it before I get to the till, I put it back.

However, rules are made to be broken. While I was on vacation a few weeks ago, I bought English muffin rings. English muffins have been on my to try bread list forever. I just couldn’t find the rings to shape the batter like dough. Some of the recipes I have found say you can use tuna cans with both ends cut off for rings. With all the talk of BPA and other chemicals in cans, it doesn’t seem smart to use them for something they weren’t designed for, like baking. It is an option if that doesn’t bother you.

The English muffins were the first bread I have ever made that I didn’t immediately love. It wasn’t that the muffins were bad. It was more like the muffins weren’t at all what I expected, the homemade English muffins are so totally different then my favorite store bought English muffins. It was hard to compare them, even side by side. Would I make English muffins again? Yes. I did eventually like them enough to put them here. The muffins freeze beautifully. If you want the traditional English muffin nooks and crannies make sure you pull the muffins apart with a fork, not cut them with a knife.

By the way, when I got home I thought of another use for the rings. They make fabulous molds for bean and veggie burgers.

English Muffins

  • Difficulty: Advanced
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1 1/2 cups water
1 TBS granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour

In a big bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy. Add butter, salt and flour. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, beat the mixture together for 8 – 10 minute until a smooth dough is formed. This mixture will be very loose, more like a batter then a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, for about an hour until doubled in volume.
Heat a griddle over high heat. If you can sprinkle a little water on the grill and it immediately sizzles and evaporates, the griddle is hot enough. Put the muffin rings on the griddle and fill them half way with the batter. Cook until the muffins are browned on bottom, 5 minutes. Flip the muffins using a spatula or tongs. Cook another 5 minutes. Let cool completely before toasting and enjoying.

Adapted from The Everything Bread Cookbook