My husband and daughter are not big fans of sandwiches...especially those made on plain bread. Sometimes I can get away with a sourdough or a good but very light rye, but in general it is buns buns buns. Crusty sub rolls are their favourite, but they are getting hard to find. The good stuff is being replaced with wonder bread in a tube shape, and contain more dough conditioners than wheat flour.
If I do get bakery rolls, I can only buy a day or two worth at a time, or else they go stale or mouldy before I can use them. Freezing dries them out, no matter how I seal and defrost them. It is a pain in the arse to stop every couple of days, and frankly, I tend to spend more than I should because I always pick up other things while I am there.
A dream would be to bake small batches of buns or rolls every couple of days. That way they are always fresh, I can try different shapes and recipes to my hearts content without having millions of loaves of bread nobody will eat lying around, and my family gets good wholesome bread with no additives. Well, that would be the dream. Life often gets in the way, ya?
Not to mention these picky eaters are NOT as receptive to home made as I would like. Thankfully their tastes are expanding a tiny bit, and my bread making skills are expanding as well. The last few efforts have even surprised me.
Tonight, it was Kaiser rolls. I planned on following a certain recipe, but it called for an ingredient I did not have and a couple of rises I didn't have time for. I used my basic dough recipe (3 cups flour, 1 cup very warm water, a squirt of honey, a tsp of salt, 2 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast). I added an egg and a tablespoon of non-hydrogenated margarine (what do you want, my butter is frozen!). This went into the oven to proof with some hot water while DD had her singing lesson and I did some work at a community garden. For the procedure to turn those ingredients into bread, let me know you are interested.
When we got home, I folded the dough (degassed, not punched down which sounds so violent). Then I divided it into six parts. Shaped each into a ball and let rest for a few minutes. Then I flattened them out a bit, and let rest again. Finally, folded the edges into the center to make the rough kaiser shape, pressing the seams into the middle to make a sort of divot. I turned them upside down on some masa harina corn flour to rise for 30 minutes in the oven with some hot water, then another 30 covered with a towel on the oven as it preheated. Baked for just shy of 20 minutes at 450 F (taken from the recipe I intended to use).
Results are not bad.
The inside texture is perfect. (What? One of them was smaller. I couldn't just leave the poor thing there to be picked on by the other, bigger Kaiser rolls).
Next time, I will change a few things. First, I will add the smallest amount of whole grain flour to add some wheaty flavour. Second, I will not rise the shaped rolls upside down. I think they would have had a better shape that way. I could always do dough ropes and tie them knot style if I want them fancier, these are rustic looking and I like that. If I want to top them (maybe with corn meal) I would rather brush them with water and sprinkle on. I personally like the masa, but I can see it tasting a bit dry to picky one and two. Also, the oven temp was a bit too high.