Breadmaking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.” ― M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating
MFK Fisher was a genius.
I’ve been thinking of getting into baking bread for a while and putting it off because it was too intimidating. Then I found this great blog by Chef John Mitzewich http://foodwishes.blogspot.in/ which has hundreds of really well edited video recipes. Anyway now bread making is becoming a little bit of an obsession and I’ve been making rolls and loaves every weekend. The only problem is that I don’t have an electric mixer yet and to knead this baby by hand is crazy hard.
Anyway, back to the recipe – the video format was specially helpful for this dinner roll endeavour because it let me see exactly what the dough should look like at different stages. Very useful when you’re trying something new and cooking blind since you’re not entirely sure how to get to the photoshop-perfect-end-photo you see in a recipe. (Unlike the really imperfect end photo here – please don’t be discouraged by my amateur, yellow, blurry pictures).
These rolls are a great first step into bread making and baking. They’re so pretty and the rosemary and thyme together smell amazing.They’re also light (unless you plan to add more butter to the recipe – I would never say no to you adding more butter to anything) and most importantly they taste great. Replace with oregano or any other seasoning you like. This would pair perfectly with an otherwise heavy meat dish or a pasta plate.
So here’s the video recipe for the dinner rolls: http://foodwishes.blogspot.in/2012/12/rosemary-honey-pull-apart-dinner-rolls.html.
Some notes on things I did differently from the video and some general thoughts:
1. I did all the kneading by hand (first with a whisk then with a strong wooden spoon and finally by hand). If you don’t have an electric mixer this can be quite an effort.
2. I didn’t have fresh rosemary and thyme so I used a couple of tablespoons of dried seasoning and it worked perfectly well.
3. Don’t just ration out 3 cups of flour for this. For my dough to get to the right state I ended up using a lot more plus extra for flouring surfaces etc.
4. This is a time consuming process so if you’re planning it for a party or an occassion it’s probably best prepared in advance and warmed up for the event.
5. Bread making (specially if you’re kneading by hand) is messy so get your apron on.
Oh and many many thanks to Mythili for finding me the foodwishes blog! I really need to make a batch of this and have it sent over!