Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rocket Rolls

How many of you run away when you see that a recipe requires yeast? Show of hands. Anyone? I do. I close the book. I hit the back button. I file 13. This recipe is the exception. These are Rocket Rolls, and this may be the only fool-proof (pun intended) yeast recipe ever. I first saw Rocket Rolls on my beloved Pinterest. [BTW: What did I do before Pinterest existed? How did I find recipes to try? How did I procrastinate?] Anyway...the original recipe came from You Made That?, and the picture was so enticing that I had to make them. I could imagine their yeasty goodness, and I needed them.

Incidentally, if you would like to see what these rolls look like when you don't just drop them onto the pan (impatience issues), I suggest you head over to the blog that inspired these :). The only difference between mine and the original is the size of the batch (and the changes that were necessary to cut the batch in half). The original version makes about a million of these. Mine makes a jelly roll pan (what I use as a cookie sheet) full. Here's the card: 


You will need 1 1/2 packs of yeast. This is the kind I buy.

Off subject: Does anyone else think of I Love Lucy any time they hear the word yeast? You know the episode. Lucy and Ethel try to make bread from scratch. Lucy misreads the recipe. She thinks that the recipe says 33 cakes of yeast instead of 3. By the time Ethel points this out, Lucy has already put all of the yeast into the batch resulting in the most ridiculously large and unbelievable loaf of bread in television history (and the least believable episode of I Love Lucy). It cracks me up every time. I quote parts of the episode as I makes these...  

You will also need bread flour. Yes, you do need to get bread flour. (I say that last sentence for my mother - who is the queen of substitutions... they usually work out, but sometimes they fail miserably.) You need bread flour because it has a high gluten content which is necessary for awesome bread. (Sorry, gluten-free folks. I feel your pain. I go glutenless a few times a year.)

This is a candy thermometer. Buy one. I think this one was $1.99. You will be amazed by how many times you need one of these.

I used to be the queen of "making do" without certain kitchen gadgets. Let me suggest to you that "making do" without a candy thermometer that costs $1.99 is the equivalent of a man refusing help when choking because "He's a man." True story. Too manly to have the Heimlich maneuver from his wife because she's a girl...
Step One: Run hot water from the tap into your measuring cup (or heat some up). Use your candy thermometer to ensure that your water is between 105 and 115 degrees F.

Step Two: Stir in the yeast, and let it dissolve in the water by letting it sit in there for 5 minutes.

I wish I had had these pictures when I was making these rolls!

This is a picture of what the water and yeast look like right after the yeast has been stirred into the water,...

...and this is a picture of what it looks like after 5 minutes.

This is a top-view picture of what the yeast and water look like after sitting 5 minutes.

Step Three: Add oil, sugar, and egg into a mixing bowl, and...

...pour the yeast and water mixture. Then, DO NOT MISS THIS, add the rest of the water. I forgot this step the first time I made these. They still tasted amazing, but they were hard as rocks. 

Look in the picture. The mixture looks weird. It smells like yeast, though. Yum.

Step Four: Whisk together by hand. (Why by hand? I do not know. I am just following directions on this one. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.")

Have I told you how much I love my pink Kitchenaid? If I haven't, I will now. I love my pink Kitchenaid mixer. If you have one, insert the paddle attachment (the white one in this picture).

You can use just a regular ol' hand mixer. Your arm will get tired, though...so your arm muscles will look more awesome than mine.

Step Five: Add flour. (Not pictured)

Mix on med-low speed until dough holds together about 5 minutes.

I watch until the dough holds together (If dough is wet looking, but doesn't form a cohesive ball, add 1 T flour at a time. If too dry, add 1 T water at a time.), and then set the timer for 5 minutes. Then, I let the mixer do the work for 5 minutes.

FYI: This usually gives me time to clean up after my clumsiness (spilled flour, broken cup, etc.).

Tip: When you turn the mixer off, the dough should relax. If it doesn't add a little water and mix a few seconds.

Step Six: Let the dough sit for 20 minutes.

I don't even take the paddle out. I just turn the mixer off, set the timer for 20 minutes, and walk away.

I'd like to say that I spend that time working on graduate work or doing something else otherwise productive, but I most likely look at Pinterest some more...:)

This is what it looks like after 20 minutes. Notice the difference between this picture and the previous one. It has poofed up a little. Oh, happy day!

Step Seven: Sprinkle some bread flour on the counter,...

...place the dough on the floured surface, and sprinkle the cinnamon and salt on each side of the dough.

Step Eight: Knead the dough.

Kneading is hard to describe in words and pictures. For best results, watch the afore mentioned I Love Lucy episode. She does actually knead correctly. You basicly pull, fold, push, and turn.

In this picture I have pulled the dough and folded it over on itself.
In this one, I am pushing the dough back into itself after I have folded it.

In this picture, I have turned the dough, and now I am stretching it up to fold it over. (The stretching is exaggerated for photo purposes.)

To quote Lucy, "It's a happy little loaf, isn't it?"

Step Nine: Spray the inside of a bowl with cooking spray.

I just re-use the bowl I mixed the dough in. I do wash and dry my mixing bowl before I spray it with cooking spray.

DO spray the WHOLE inside of the bowl with cooking spray. I didn't the first time because I did not think it would rise up that far...I was mistaken. :)

Step Ten: Put the dough in the bowl,...

...cover with a tea towel (thin towel),...

...and put in a nice, warm spot. Mine is close to, but not right next to my oven vent.

Step Eleven: Leave it alone for 1 1/2 hours to rise.

This picture shows what the bowl looked like after a little over an hour. Cool huh? You can see it pushing the towel up out of the bowl.

This picture shows what the bowl looked like after then whole hour and a half.

I told you that you would need to spray the entire inside of the bowl with cooking spray.


Step Twelve: Spray your cookie sheet (yes, mine is really a jelly roll pan) with cooking spray.

Step Thirteen (my favorite step!): Punch down the dough.

Ha Ha - You have been punched!

Sorry. The bad comic book language seemed appropriate since the dough looks like a cartoon character whose face has been punched in.

You should punch more than just one time.

Step Fourteen: Pinch off pieces of dough. Roll into golf ball size balls for dinner rolls and/or tennis ball size balls for sandwich rolls.

I was going for golf ball size with mine. They relax when you put them on the cookie sheet.

I must point out that if you want your rolls to look less lumpy-bumpy, you can smooth them out with a little flour while rolling them in your hands. I do not have the patience for such. Need rolls now.
Before rising shot #1.

Before rising shot #2.

Step Fifteen: Cover with a tea towel (thin towel)again. Leave them alone for 20 minutes so they can rise again!

TA-DA! Now they are bigger! Oh, happy day! After rising shot #1.

After rising shot #2.

Feel free to compare to this one to the before rising shot #2. You don't have to, but it makes me happy.

Step Sixteen: Bake at 350 degrees for 17 - 30 minutes or until golden.

Step Seventeen: Buttering the Tops of Rolls 101. Peel back the wrapper of a stick of butter like peeling a banana peel, and...

...while holding the wrapper part, rub the butter on the tops of the rolls.


Salivation - which is an amazing feat for someone with Sjogren's Syndrome.

Ta-Da! Done!

Compare this picture to "Before rising shot #1" and "After rising shot #1."

Compare this picture to "Before rising shot #2" and "After rising shot #2."

Pillowy, yeasty, goodness.

I would like to say that I practiced restraint - that I did not eat any rolls until I had taken this picture.

The truth is I had almost an entire roll in my mouth when I took this picture. :) Love me anyway.

Buttery, soft, yeastalicious, deliciousness.

Make some now. Your happiness depends on it. I'm going to go make more... We already ate all of this batch!

Rocket Rolls
1 1/2 1/4oz packs rapid-rise yeast
1/2 c. water,
105 - 115 degrees F
3/4 c. water
2 T. canola oil
1 egg
1/4 c. + 2 T. sugar
3 1/4 c. bread flour
1/2 T. sea salt
a pinch of cinnamon
Butter for tops and serving
(1 entire stick recommended)
  1. Dissolve yeast in 105 - 115 degree F water. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Add oil, egg, sugar, and the rest of the water. Whisk by hand.
  3. Add flour, and mix on med-low speed until dough holds together about 5 minutes. (If dough is wet looking, but doesn't form a cohesive ball, add 1 T flour at a time. If too dry, add 1 T. water at a time.) Let dough rest 20 minutes.
  4. Put dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle cinnamon and salt onto the dough, and then knead well.
  5. Spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Put dough in the bowl, and then cover with a tea towel. Let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large sheet pan with cooking spray.
  7. Punch down dough, and pinch off pieces of dough. Roll golf ball sized balls for dinner rolls and tennis ball sized balls for sandwich rolls. Arrange 2" apart on sheet pan, and cover with a tea towel. Let rise 20 minutes.
  8. Bake 17 - 30 minutes or until golden. Rub tops with butter, and serve with butter.
DISCLAIMER: May induce extreme happiness. 
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