You might not have heard much from me lately, but rest assured I’m in the kitchen cooking up lots of recipes to share with all of you. I’m home- in Ohio, helping family get through some pretty difficult times. Amidst it all, the baking and cooking, testing and developing healthy and halal dishes I think you’ll love is motivating me to be in a place where I’m happiest and that is most therapeutic to me and my family.
This recipe for sweet bread rolls not only warms up the kitchen with the smell of freshly baked dough, but these little bunches go well with just about any dinner you put on the table. We’ve had them with soups & stews, used them to dunk in pasta sauces and alongside roasted meats. They freeze wonderfully so make these ahead of time, especially if you’re expecting guests soon. That would be one less menu item to prepare on the day your guests arrive.
This is how I’m staying warm in the midst of snowstorms that keep alternating between Chicago and Cleveland- two cities I’d been planning to be traveling back and forth from at this time, but as we all know, Allah (God) is the best of all Planners…
Enjoy the recipe–and stay warm with those you love.
Sweet Bread Rolls
Makes approximately 36 rolls
Adapted from Taste of Home: Gifts from the Country Kitchen
This recipe is made easiest when you use three separate containers for the set of ingredients to be used during the preparation process. Actually, I like this type of organization whenever I bake because often times baking directions can be very confusing. Hopefully this simplification makes the process easier, quicker and more fun altogether. Just remember to read the recipe thoroughly before starting and prep all the ingredients ahead of time.
1 large mixing bowl
1 medium mixing bowl
cutting board or pastry board
baking sheets (2-4)
all-cotton kitchen towels (2-4)
Bowl 1 (large)
2 packages active dry yeast (4- 1/2 tablespoons total)
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1 -1/2 cups warm water (warm to your touch)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Bowl 2 (medium)
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup raw cane sugar
9 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, sifted
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- In bowl 1 dissolve the yeast in the sugar and warm water.
- In the saucepan, heat the milk over warm heat and add the butter. Stir until all of the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat.
- In bowl 2 combine eggs, salt and sugar. Whisk together slightly and set aside.
- Pour the warm ingredients from the saucepan into the large bowl of dissolved yeast/sugar/water mixture. Blend gently with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Add the eggs, salt and sugar mixture to this bowl and stir once again to combine.
- To the same mixing bowl add flour, one cup at a time, incorporating each cup thoroughly before adding the next. Once it becomes difficult to combine with a spoon, use clean hands to form a soft dough.
- Gently pick up the ball of dough and set aside on a clean surface. Add the olive oil to the bowl that the dough was just in. Use your hands to spread around the inside of the bowl. Bring the dough back to the bowl and toss around the bowl gently, to coat. Cover with a cotton towel and place in a warm spot to allow the dough to rise until it is double in size, approximately one hour.
- Bring the dough to a flat, floured surface. Knead gently with your hands until the dough is soft and elastic. Punch it down several times if it needs more elasticity.
- Use a pastry scraper or sharp knife to cut the dough into thirds. From there, cut each portion into long, semi-thick strips.
- Roll each strip between two hands to twist the dough, then fold it like you would to shape a pretzel. Turn the ends inward to push up into the center of what is now shaped like a ball or bun.
- Cover each sheet with a cotton towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Place each bun on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes, watching (and smelling) carefully for any burning on the bottom.
- Serve with pats of butter because the tops open ever so slightly, allowing you to shove in a beautiful piece of golden butter into the steamy, chewy center.