Nothing is lamer or more unimaginative than whining about the weather.
I could tell you about the exquisite dark chocolate pound cake that tragically stuck to the bundt pan. I could tell you about how I’m terrified of potty training, and how last night I bought a little sticker reward chart for Bun Boy – just to give myself a false sense of progress while I ignore the elephant in the closet.
I could tell you about the novel that my husband just finished writing, and how much fun we’re having revising it and working towards getting it published. I could even tell you about the snazzy tan top I found at a second-hand store for 3 dollars.
But no, I’m taking the lame and unimaginative road.
It has been downright cold here in Utah. And cold doesn’t generally bother me. But this. This is not just put-on-a-sweater cold, it’s curl-up-in-bed cold. I-can’t-feel-my-fingers cold.
So I made rolls. There’s something deliciously cozy and domestic about making yeast breads on a cold day. Like I’ve been transported into a Dickens novel – rocking in a creaking chair by a golden, glowing hearth in a snug little cottage. Dressed in several layers of petticoats and bloomers and a nice thick dress and wool shawl. Seriously. Those women knew how to dress.
Brrr. . .
Lion House Dinner Rolls
adapted from Lion House Bakery
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons Instant yeast
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with the water, dry milk, yeast, gluten, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add two more cups of flour, and mix until incorporated. Then stir in just enough of the remaining flour (1/2 cup at a time) to make a very soft dough that is not overly sticky, and not stiff. After you have the right amount of flour, knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is very elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Gently squeeze the air out of the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly-greased surface and roll into a rectangle, roughly 18″ x 8″. With a pizza cutter, cut dough in half vertically to make two strips about 4 inches wide. Then cut those strips horizontally, every two inches, making about 18 pieces of dough, 8″ by 2″. Carefully roll up each piece of dough, starting with the short end. Place rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Be sure all rolls face the same direction on the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. Halfway through rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter while hot.