As a little girl, I faced a daily dilemma when I stood in line for lunch at the school cafeteria. Would I spend my $1.10 on a full lunch (mystery meat, mystery veggie, a dinner roll, and a milk) or would I splurge and just buy eleven dinner rolls for ten cents each? As much as I really wanted to do the latter, I never did take the plunge. I knew it would draw looks from my classmates and I wasn’t brave enough to stare back at them and say, “So what? I like bread!”
Nowadays, many of my friends are on “paleo” diets- they eat mostly meat, nuts, and some fruit. There is an entire food group missing from their diet: bread. Given that I would even contemplate choosing 11 dinner rolls over a full lunch, you can be sure that I will never adopt this particular diet! My friend Justin has this T-shirt that simply says I <Heart> Carbs. Amen, brother. Amen.
All of which brings me to today’s featured recipe. Sometimes I find a recipe for a side dish that looks so amazing that I orient my entire meal around it. And sometimes I just toss out the idea of a “complementary” meal because I am craving two things that no chef in her right mind would serve together.
Last week, it was my turn to host game night. I already showed you what Dave is capable of. However, I am not Dave, and thus my meal was going to be quite a bit simpler. For my main dish, I served pumpkin turkey chili (the recipe will be featured later this fall when pumpkins are back on your mind again!). Usually I would serve cornbread with chili, but like I said, sometimes you have to say “to heck with tradition” and go with what looks good. And these rolls looked good. And boy, oh, boy! They certainly did not disappoint! I split a couple in half, slathered them with butter and drizzled honey from mom’s bees over the top. These are definitely on my list of treats to make again!
By the way, if you’re new to making bread, read my note on this recipe about kneading bread. It’s easier than you think! Just budget lots of rising time for these. Each rise takes 60-90 minutes, plus an additional 20+ minutes in the oven. That means you should start these about 3 hours before you plan on sitting down for dinner!
golden pull-apart butter buns
(from the www.kingarthurflour.com)
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons potato flour or 1/4 cup instant potato flakes
3 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons soft butter
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large bowl and mix and knead – using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine on the dough cycle – to make a soft, smooth dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased container and allow the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes, until it’s just about doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.
Round each piece into a smooth ball.
Lightly grease two 8″ cake pans. Space eight buns in each pan.
Cover the pans and allow the buns to rise until they’re crowded against one another and quite puffy, about 60-90 minutes.
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Uncover the buns and bake them for 22-24 minutes, until they’re golden brown on top and the edges of the center bun spring back lightly when you touch it. An instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the center bun should register at least 190.
Remove the buns from the oven, brush with melted butter, and turn onto a cooling rack.
Serve warm. Store leftovers in a closed container at room temperature.