Saturday, 23 February 2013

Owen's Rolls

Most mothers nowadays like to tell the birth stories of their children. When I was pregnant with our first I was petrified of young mothers, knowing they were about to fill me in on the "gory" details. What is truly magical and the most intense experience of a woman's life can sometimes be recounted in a very graphic way. But bear with me, this is not one of those stories. In fact, it's actually the lead-up to a recipe.

I was two days past my due date and had buns in the oven (literally). It was a new recipe I had found over at www.chiotsrun.com. My brother texted asking if I was having the baby that day; I replied, "not unless I fall down the stairs". Our first had been induced, a slow labour. Why would this one be different? I got the two year old down for a nap and removed some nice looking rolls from the oven. I went for a nap and my labour started. To make a short story shorter, Husband flew home from work to get us and we barely made it to the hospital in time. A 35 minute drive took under 20 that day, and felt like an eternity. Our baby boy was born less than an hour later.

Now, for the point of the story (and a look at the rolls).

These are not the rolls I made that day.

We had a bouncing baby boy, 9 lbs 9 oz, in under 5 hours. We have always called these "Owen's Rolls" because he was such a rolly-polly baby, and I was making them when I went into labour. I don't know if I'll ever make them without thinking of that day. This is a simple and delicious recipe that always turns out for me. From someone who regularly bakes below expectation, that is high praise indeed. Thank you to Susy at Chiot's Run for permission to link to her recipe http://chiotsrun.com/?s=basic+rolls . Here is my adaptation:

Owen's Rolls
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
4 to 5 cups flour (1 cup whole wheat)
1/4 cup ground flax
2 Tbsp yeast

-In large bowl, mix 1 cup whole wheat flour with 1 cup white flour and yeast. In medium saucepan combine milk, sugar, butter and salt and heat til butter starts to melt (120-130F)*.
-Add milk mixture to dry mix, along with eggs. Mix til incorporated then beat on high with hand mixer 3 minutes.
-Mix in as much remaining flour as possible--once it's too thick for mixer, transfer to counter top and knead. Dough should be soft but not too sticky.
-Knead 4 to 5 minutes til dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into ball and place in oiled bowl, let rise 1 hr or until doubled in size.
-Turn dough onto counter and divide into desired size rolls. Place on greased sheets, cover and let rise til doubled (45 mins)
-Bake at 375F 12-15 minutes (rolls) or 15-17 minutes (hamburger buns) til golden on top.

*now that I've made these several times I microwave the milk first to bring it nearer the desired temp. (too impatient I guess!) I use my candy thermometre but if you don't have one, remove from heat when butter starts to melt.

Have you got a favorite bun recipe? Or have you got an interesting baking-related story?

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