Sunday, February 19, 2012

Garlic Yummy

I spent my Sunday hanging out with The Peanut and still managed to pull off getting some baking done.  Now, if you’ve never had a newborn (well, 3 ½ months now) around, you can’t fully appreciate what little time-suckers they are.  Not that I would trade our lazy Sundays for the world, but sometimes you come to the end of your weekend and say, “Wait.  What in the heck have I been DOING for the last couple of days?”

Anyway, this just so happens to be what I was ‘doing’.  Baking these garlic rolls to go along with a simple shrimp bisque I decided to put together using some leftover shrimp and other various odds and ends hanging around the kitchen.  And, since this is the start of ‘hell week’ – basically a full week of rehearsals leading up to opening night – for the show I’m doing, I figured it was a good sendoff to the week, especially considering that I’ll be lucky if I can just get a bowl of Cheerios scarfed down before having to dash to the theater every night.

These rolls are soft, garlicky and absolutely addictive straight out of the oven, but they also store well.  The first time I made them, I made the mistake of making my strips too long.  The resulting roll, while impressively HUGE, never quite cooked all the way through, and the result was a bit too doughy for my taste.  Also, don’t try to use too much butter here, or you’ll end up with the same result.  If you want to amp up the flavor, add more garlic but keep the butter to a thin layer.


Garlic Butter Rolls

For the dough:
1 packet yeast (I used a Rapid Rise, but regular will work just fine)
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups bread flour
6 Tbs melted butter
1 cup milk
2 tsp salt

For the garlic butter:

4 Tbs room temperature butter
2 - 3 cloves finely minced garlic
salt and pepper
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (dried also works – about 2 tsp)

Whisk together the yeast, water and 2 Tbs of the sugar in a mixing bowl until the yeast is dissolved. Allow to stand for 2 to 3 minutes until foamy.  Add 2 cups of flour, the rest of the sugar, melted butter, milk, and salt.

Fit mixer with dough hook and process until the dough begins comes together. Add 1 ½ cups more of the flour and continue to mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.  If the mixture is too sticky, add the remaining ½ cup of flour.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise and double, about 1 ½ - 2 hours.  While the dough is rising, make the garlic butter by mixing all of the ingredients and blending until well combined.  Set aside.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 16 inches by 10 inches, and about ¼ inch in height. Spread the dough evenly and all way to the edges with the garlic butter.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough lengthwise in half.  Then to cut crossways into narrow strips (no more than about an inch wide).  Roll the strips up and put them on a cookie sheet, seam-side down.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes.

Bake the garlic rolls in a preheated 375° oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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