On Thursday morning, I woke up with a sudden urge to make bread. Having a day ahead of me with nothing planned and a new bag of bread flour, I searched through my saved yeast bread recipes and quickly chose one from A cookie a day for gorgeous-looking honey rolls. What I wasn't aware of until later that evening was that I had woken up with this bread-making urge on what is known as World Bread Day- a fine coincidence, I must say.
And so, on the evening of a day dedicated to the staff of life, we enjoyed these delicious rolls that were a perfect compliment to our hearty dinner of mashed potatoes, gravy, veggie roast, and roasted vegetables. They tasted sweet and were quite soft, much like challah, with a lip-smacking buttery crust. So, if you have the time (and especially if you have an electric mixer with a bread hook, like I do), I urge you to try this recipe out for yourself, even if just for the intoxicating smell of baking bread that will fill your home.
Tender Honey Yeast Rolls: from A cookie a day
4 cups bread flour (Start with 3)
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package dry yeast (1/4-ounce)
Vegetable cooking spray
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the honey, egg and oil. Add roughly 3 cups of the flour and the salt until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, working in the remaining flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8 minutes. Do not be tempted to add too much flour. The dough should stay soft and will become less sticky with kneading. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, about 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 30 seconds. Cover dough, and let rest 10 minutes. Punch dough down, and divide into 12-18 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, and place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until browned. About 5 minutes into baking, top rolls with 1 tablespoon of melted butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey. Remove rolls from pans, and serve warm or at room temperature.