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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Recipe: Basic Yeast Bread - Sweet Rolls



Yeast Bread Sweet Roll with Butter and Salt

Recipe: Basic Yeast Bread - Sweet Rolls

A Pastry Recipe Everyone Should Know


I've heard numerous people proclaim, "I love to bake, but I can't make bread to save my life!"

Fortunately, even though making bread may once have been a matter of survival for our ancestors, I don't believe many of us still look at bread as an issue of life or death (the gluten-phobic notwithstanding).

It's true... making yeast bread is quite different from whipping up a simple batch of cookies. The effects of environmental conditions, primarily temperature and humidity, make bread an entirely different animal. From day to day, the process can change significantly. What takes two hours in the summer may take several hours in the colder months.

And then there's yeast - millions of tiny organisms which, when awakened in the mix of a bread dough, start a fermentation process whereby they consume sugars in exchange for carbon dioxide (causing the dough to rise) and alcohol (adding flavor).

But don't let that intimidate you. The simple pleasure of fresh-from-the-oven, home-baked bread is worth the effort. And with a good, simple recipe to get you started, it won't be long before making bread is second nature.


For some additional tips on baking Bread, be sure to check out these helpful illustrations!
Baked Yeast Bread Sweet Roll Cooling
This recipe is a straight-forward, enriched dough that is perfect for simple rolls or loaves. Whereas lean breads contain only flour, water, salt and yeast, enriched breads get an extra kick from additional fats (e.g. milk, eggs, butter, oil) and sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses).

Some breads, like Brioche, are extreme examples of enriched breads. They contain a very high amount of fat relative to the other ingredients. This recipe contains a moderate amount of Butter, Eggs and Sugar, making it more adaptable for both sweet and savory applications.

Bowl of YeastBegin by combining the Water and Milk. Gently heat the liquids to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They should feel barely warm to touch. Stir in the Yeast. Transfer the liquids to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Bowl of Bread Flour, Salt and SugarAdd all of the remaining ingredients beginning with the Eggs and followed by the soft Butter, Bread Flour, Sugar and Salt.

Bowl of ButterIn many recipes with higher fat content (e.g. Brioche and Focaccia), Butter and Oil may be added after the dough has mixed for several minutes and the gluten structure has begun to form. With this recipe, a sufficiently strong gluten structure is possible even when mixing all of the ingredients together from the beginning.

Bowl of Roughly Mixed Bread DoughMix the dough on low speed until the ingredient are mostly combined. The dough will initially appear very shaggy.

Bread Dough Requiring Additional Kneading TimeIncrease the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is well-combined and begins to appear smooth. This will take about 5 minutes. You will notice that the dough appears sticky as the liquids and Butter hydrate the Bread Flour.

Bread Dough with Insufficient Gluten StructureStop the mixer and scrape down the dough hook and the sides of the bowl. At this point the ingredient should be very well combined, but the dough will still appear shaggy and feel sticky. This is because the gluten structure requires further development.

Continue kneading the dough on high speed until the gluten structure is fully developed - up to an additional 5 minutes.

Testing the Gluten Structure of BreadAs the gluten structure develops, the dough will more tightly cling to the dough hook and will begin to pull away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. When the gluten structure is sufficiently strong, the dough will completely pull away from the bowl. The dough may also begin to make a slapping sound as it hits the side of the bowl. It's multi-sensory baking!

Testing the Gluten Structure of Bread
To test the gluten structure, "pull a window". Gently stretch a small piece of dough between your fingers. If it breaks apart easily, continue kneading. If the dough is elastic and holds a "pane", then the gluten structure is sufficiently developed.

Proofing Bread DoughTransfer the dough to an oiled bowl or proofing container. Cover the dough and let it proof until it is doubled in size - about 45-60 minutes.

Proofed Bread DoughThe amount of time required for the dough to proof will vary based on environmental conditions, including temperature and humidity, as well as specific dough conditions, including the strength of the gluten structure. Use time as a guideline, but monitor the actual process.

Turned and Folded Bread DoughTurn/fold ("punch") the dough: remove the dough from the proofing container and gently fold the outside edges in towards the center. This process degases the the dough, evens out the temperature and redistributes the yeast. Return the dough to the proofing container and proof it for a second time until doubled in size - about 30 minutes.

Portioning and Weighing Individual RollsTurn/fold the dough a second time and then portion the dough into 50g pieces.

Forming Individual RollsForm the rolls by rolling them in a tight circle with a cupped hand. The motion will create a tight, smooth ball of dough.

Sheet Tray of Portioned RollsPlace each roll on a parchment lined sheet tray and cover the rolls with a piece of non-stick spray coated plastic wrap. Let the rolls rest for the final proof - about 20-30 minutes.

Portioned RollsThe rolls are ready to bake if, when they are gently pressed with your finger, the indentation slowly recovers. If the dough feels firm and the indentation bounces back immediately, additional proofing time is required. If the indentation does not bounce back, the dough is over-proofed and should be placed in the oven immediately.

Egg Washed and Proofing RollsLightly egg wash the rolls and sprinkle them with coarse salt.

Bake the rolls at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, rotating the sheet trays half way through the bake time. The internal temperature of the rolls should reach 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Egg Washed and Proofing RollsAllow the rolls to cool for a couple of minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

The rolls can be stored for several days in an air tight container. Allow the rolls to cool completely before wrapping. The rolls can also be stored in the freezer for several months wrapped in plastic.

To reheat the rolls, remove them from the freezer and allow them to temper. Reheat the rolls on a parchment lined sheet tray in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minutes.




- The Recipe -



Basic Yeast Bread:


Yield1,000g (20 x 50g Dinner Rolls / Two Large Loaves)

Ingredients:
  • Water: 120g (0.5 Cup)
  • Milk: 120g (0.5 Cup)
  • Fresh Yeast*: 16g
  • Eggs: 100g (2x)
  • Butter, soft: 115g (0.5 Cup / 1 Stick)
  • Bread Flour: 500g (4 Cups)
  • Sugar: 50g (0.25 Cup)
  • Salt: 12g (2 Tsp)

* If you do not have Fresh Yeast, you can use either Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast. For Active Dry Yeast, use 50% of the recipe weight (8g). For Instant Yeast, use 40% of the recipe weight (6g).



Directions:

1. Combine the Water and Milk. Gently heat the liquids to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e. barely warm to touch). Stir in the Yeast. Transfer the wet ingredients to a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the Eggs and soft Butter followed by the Bread Flour, Sugar and Salt. 

2. Start mixing the dough on low speed until the ingredients are mostly combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is well-combined and begins to appear smooth - about 5 minutes. 

3. Stop the mixer and scrape down the dough hook and the sides of the bowl. At this point the ingredients should be very well combined; however, the gluten structure will require further development. Continue kneading the dough on high speed until the gluten structure is fully developed - about 5 minutes

4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl or proofing container. Cover the dough and let it proof until doubled in size - about 45-60 minutes.

5. Turn/fold the dough (i.e. "punch" it down to degas) and proof it for a second time until doubled in size - about 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Turn/fold the dough a second time. Portion the dough into 50g pieces. Form individual rolls (i.e. roll each piece with a cupped hand in a tight circle to form a smooth ball of dough). Place the rolls on a parchment lined sheet tray and cover it with a non-stick spray coated piece of plastic wrap. Let the rolls rest for the final proof  - about 20-30 minutes.

8. Lightly egg wash the rolls and sprinkle them with coarse salt. Bake the rolls until golden brown - about 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Allow the rolls to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

10. The rolls can be stored for several days in an air tight container. Allow the rolls to cool completely before wrapping. The rolls can also be stored in the freezer for several months wrapped in plastic wrap. To reheat the rolls, remove them from the freezer and allow them to temper. Reheat the rolls on a parchment lined sheet tray in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minutes.


Yeast Bread Sweet Roll with Butter and Salt






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