Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oatmeal Rolls...Yeeeee!!!!

I was sick all day today. Sore throat, chills, nauseated...the works. Yuck. Yes, it was Valentine's Day, but we didn't do anything extra special. I'm not a big fan of "Hallmark Holidays". We should treat each other great everyday. I'm not a big fan of flowers either. I mean, I like flowers...they are beautiful, but why spend money on something that is just going to die in a few days? I don't need flowers to feel special. Adrian worked all day, and then came home, cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen, gave the kids a bath, dressed them...all while I was sick. That makes me feel pretty special. :) 

I felt a migraine coming on, so I took my migraine medicine, which is a lifesaver. I still got a pretty bad-almost migraine-headache, and fell asleep on the couch for a bit. When I woke up, I really, really wanted the oatmeal rolls. I've been thinking about them for days..the first time I made them, they were bad. Really bad. I should have read more about how to make bread before hand. I was clueless. 

Anyways, I told Adrian that I was gonna make them, and he said, "Why don't you just take a break?". Awwh what a sweet hubby. But no. I want oatmeal rolls!

I cannot even explain my excitement in words...I did it! I made the oatmeal rolls and they came out perfect. I am getting better and better at making bread each time I do it. Practice makes perfect.

The recipe sounds very simple, but takes quite a bit of work. I definitely made them a lit faster than last time. Best part was, this time they were edible. Last time they were trash.

1 cup quick oats
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp softened butter
2 cups boiling water
1 package (or 1 tbsp) dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
4-5 cups white flour (bleached or unbleached, your choice)

In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients (1 cup quick oats, 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp salt, and 2 tbsp softened butter) and pour the 2 cups boiling water over it. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour the warm water into a small bowl, and stir in the yeast. The temperature of the water is important, so if you have a thermometer, use it! I used a candy thermometer. The water should be pretty warm, almost hot (that's as good as I can describe it!).

Once the oatmeal mixture has cooled to lukewarm, and the yeast has dissolved, pour the yeast over the oat mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Then add the flour one cup at a time, until you are no long able to mix by hand. You should be able to mix in (about 4 cups).

The mixture will look like this, and might have a lot of flour still left in the bowl that is not incorporated.

Then transfer it to a floured surface. Knead it really well, until the texture is smooth and elastic-y. At least ten minutes. (Watch this video if you need to learn how to knead properly.)

The dough should look something like this. After you are done kneading it, pour about 2 teaspoons of oil in a large bowl (you can was the same bowl really quickly and use that.) Swirl the oil around the bowl to coat the sides. Then place the dough in the bowl and turn it a few times to coat it.

Then cover it with a damp dishcloth. And wait for it to rise. It should double in size in an hour or so.

You can tell that the dough has risen by poking your finger in it. Should look kind of like this. Then, punch the dough down, and let it rise again (another 30-60 minutes). Sorry, the time is not an exact science and depends on a lot of variables.

See how the dough looks a lot smoother in this second picture? This is after the second rise. Then place the floured counter top again. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

The next part was the trickiest part for me. I really messed this up the first time when I made them. You are going to pull off pieces of the dough to form the rolls shapes. No pictures of this part sorry. My hands were dirty. Pinch off a pieces and form them into a roll shape. It's different than shaping cookie dough when making chocolate chip cookies, because the dough has to be one fluid piece. You can't just pack it together to make the desired shape. You might want to knead the piece once of twice to make it more fluid. Don't worry about smashing it or overworking it. You should have 1-2 cookie sheets full depending on how big you make the rolls. If you want, you can split the dough in two and form them in to two oblong shapes and put them into loaf pans instead of rolls. 

Bake them for 12-15 minutes, and then check on them. The tops should be slightly golden and the bottom should have a darker golden brown to it. You might have to bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack (if you have one).

Then eat one within a few minutes to enjoy them the most! Much more satisfying than buying bread from the store!

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