By Ryan McKay
Holidays make me appreciate the aromas from the kitchen like no other time. Be it succulent meats, warmed spices, or baked goods, we inevitably find ourselves being pulled toward the gastronomical pull of the kitchen. So, to boost the wonderful gravity of these happy smells, let’s make some bread.
For most, bread making can be daunting task. Weighing ingredients, moisture levels in the house, time demands…these are all roadblocks most people lean on to not try bread making during this most wonderful time of the year. Don’t let this dissuade you from giving this a go. This is a forgiving recipe and a great gateway dough toward more advance yeasty breads. So lather up with some butter, ’cause we are about to be on a roll!
A few after the fire critiques: These are best straight out of the oven, but they can be stored for a week at room temp, a month in the fridge, or frozen for a quarter of the year. I’d suggest a flavored butter or fruity jam to top these with, but these are so good you really don’t need anything.
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Buttermilk
¼ Cup Water, lukewarm (100-110°F)
¼ Cup Sugar
8+ ounces/1 stick Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 package Active Dry Yeast
2½ tsp. Salt
9- by 13-Inch Baking Dish
- Brush a large bowl with butter.
- Place the water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a paddle and mix to combine.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes to get foamy.
- Add the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and remaining sugar and mix till combined.
- Switch to a dough hook and add the flour and salt.
- Knead at a low speed for about two minutes or until it forms a smooth ball.
- Scrape the ball into the prepared large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
- Place the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and work into a ball.
- Cut in half, then slice each half into seven wedges and arrange them into the prepared dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until double in size, about 30 minutes.
- Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Indulge.
Ryan McKay is a 13-year fire service veteran and a firehouse cook from Atlanta, Georgia. His goal is to bring the fast-paced lifestyle of the fire service with the slow-paced art of cultivating family and crew through the tool that is food. He has made an appearance on NBC’s primetime show “Food Fighters,” is a co-founder of the Metro Atlanta EMS Conference, and works intimately with the SafePath Child Advocacy Center.