Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I am making for Thanksgiving

Roasted Brined Turkey and Pan Gravy - Cook's Illustrated
Pioneer Woman Style Dinner Rolls - see below
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole - with canned green beans and mushroom soup, because that's how it is supposed to be made
Home Made Cranberry Sauce
Dill Pickles - made last summer
Sweet Potatoes with Ginger Syrup
Pecan Pie - from Grand Traverse Pie Company (school fundraiser)

I quit reading the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog because I just want recipes, not all sorts of photos.   It's a nice blog, though, and it got the Pioneer Woman a book deal, and if you want to see all her pretty pictures, click through to the blog.   So I can remember what I am doing tomorrow,  here is the recipe that I discerned from her post, simplfied and changed to make it more user friendly (at least to me) and reduced in size to a "normal" amount of rolls.  It's a lot like the camping bread dough recipe I use in that for the first rise, you could make it ahead and put it in the fridge for days until you use it.   I have never seen a recipe that used both baking soda and baking powder before, let alone with yeast, so I did a little research.  Cook's Thesaurus says that recipes that call for both baking powder and baking soda are probably using the baking soda to offset extra acidity in the batter (from ingredients like buttermilk or molasses) and to weaken the proteins in the flour.   Since I don't have acidic ingredients, I got to wondering how acidic actual bread dough was after the first rise, and I found out that the amount of sugar at the start affects the the final pH of the bread dough.  This dough does have sugar in it.  However, the yeast doesn't really care about what the pH is.  (I found all of this out in this paper.)  So maybe the baking soda or baking powder is just there to weaken the proteins in the flour.   Further research indicates this recipe is an old Betty Crocker recipe.   Anyway, I'm going to give it a shot.


Dinner Rolls
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/2  c. vegetable oil
4.5 c. flour
2 t. dry yeast (or one envelope)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Scald milk, sugar and oil and cool to lukewarm in a dutch oven.  Add 4 c. flour and yeast, stir.  Put lid on dutch oven and let rise for 1 hour.   Add 1/c  cup flour, baking soda, powder and salt.  Stir to combine.  Butter a muffin pan and form dough into 1 inch balls and put 3 in each to make cloverleaf rolls. Allow to rise again 1 - 2 hours.  Bake in a 400 F oven 17-20 minutes, or until golden.  

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