Thursday, March 3, 2016

Make-Ahead Buttermilk Rolls

Yesterday, I headed to the gym for my morning run. It was snowy and cold and there were no available parking spots by the entrance. I pulled into a drop-off spot and ran the girls into the childcare area before coming back out to move my car to the parking lot across the street. As I was pulling into my spot, a man that I was familiar with from seeing in the workout area of the gym began chatting with me. One thing led to another and then he, very nervously and blushing red the entire time, asked me, "I've been meaning to ask you for a's're beautiful, really beautiful, and...are you...single by any chance?" I smiled and told him that I was married and he got even more embarrassed and started to blush some more and then quickly told me "Have a great day....I'm sorry..." before running off. I sent Paul a text message saying "Just got asked out at the gym again" (this has happened before).

Paul's response: "Well, did you accept or not?"

Haha....very funny. He then thanked me for not leaving him and reminded me to keep the children with me at all times to ward off approaches like this. He's so right!

Here are two of my "creep repellents" sporting matching Princess Leia style hairdos. It was all Emma's idea. She wanted to be Lucy's twin. However, Emma was extremely uncooperative in posing for a picture with her twin. She kept bouncing and wriggling about so the best pictures we could get were on the fuzzy side. Still cute though.

The true way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and there is nothing that Paul loves more than a warm piece of bread slathered with salted butter. Hence the reason there are a lot of bread recipes on this blog - I'm not the only person addicted to carbs in the house! So here is yet another bread recipe to add to your rotation. There really isn't much to say about these rolls other than that they are absolutely amazing! Fluffy, tender, slightly sweet, and with a hint of "sourdough" flavor from the buttermilk and yeast, I am in love with these make-ahead dinner rolls. I am always on the look out for an excellent roll that can be made in advance for occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and so on. Occasions where you need to have a lot of fresh, hot bread to go with the meal but do not necessarily have the time to babysit the dough in the midst of all the other food preparations that need to happen. In the past, I have been unhappy with the results of some "make-ahead" roll recipes and have usually just opted to either make the bread fresh or freeze a large batch of my favorite roll recipe ahead of time. The stress just is not worth making the bread fresh and frozen dinner rolls, while still delicious, are never quite as good as a fresh-baked batch.

I was extremely excited to see Mel publish this recipe on her blog a few months ago. I bookmarked it and intended to test it soon. I make bread often because Paul cannot have a bowl of soup without a hefty side of bread - and we have been eating a lot of soup lately. Now, Mel says the dough can be mixed up and refrigerated for up to a week. So, I made the entire humongous batch of dough and then refrigerated it and baked the rolls in batches over the next week to see what effect the resting time would have on the end result. The verdict? The rolls got better and better the longer the dough sat in the fridge. I guess we all probably could have predicted that. They were more flavorful, more fluffy, and so incredibly irresistible. We just baked off the last bit of dough the other night and I was sad that the rolls are now all gone. I might just have to mix up another batch of dough and plan to make more soup next week!

Trust me, this recipe makes some incredible-tasting bread! They have catapulted to the top of my favorites list. I am planning on making a very large batch to make ham sliders with the leftover Easter ham.

Same bread dough, I just shaped the rolls differently each time I baked a batch.

Make Ahead Buttermilk Rolls
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3 cups buttermilk at room temperature or warmed slightly in the microwave
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
6-7 cups flour, as needed

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the buttermilk, 3 cups flour and yeast together. Cover and let stand at room temperature until puffy and bubbly, 2-3 hours.

Add the sugar, eggs, salt, oil, and baking soda. Mix well and start adding the remaining flour until a soft dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl and is smooth without being overly sticky or overflowed. Knead for about 7 minutes. If you have a small KitchenAid, this will probably be too much dough for it. I ended up having to knead by hand because the dough kept crawling up the dough hook.

At this point, you can roll out the dough or cover and refrigerate for up to seven days. If doing so, place the dough in a large container or bowl as it will expand a bit in the refrigerator.

To use immediately, shape the dough into the roll shape of choice. Cover the rolls with greased plastic wrap and let rise until double, about an hour or so. This took a little longer for me, but my kitchen was a little on the cool side. Be sure they have risen before baking!

Bake at 375 degrees until golden and baked through. The exact time will depend on the shape and the size of the rolls, somewhere between 10-16 minutes. I made cloverleafs and traditional roll shapes. The traditional rolls baked about four minutes longer than the cloverleafs, but please keep an eye on your rolls.

For refrigerated dough, pinch off the desired amount and shape. If the dough is really cold and hard to work with, let it rest covered at room temp for 30-45 minutes before shaping.

Once shaped, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rolls rise until double in size, 2-3 hours (dough taken from the refrigerator will take longer to rise since it's been chilled) and bake with the above instructions based on shape.

Remove from the oven and butter the tops, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of being able to mix up a batch of dough and then bake as needed! We'll have to try that out!