Tuesday, November 17, 2009
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I don't know how or when it happened. After years of going "over the river and through the woods" there came a day when I, ready or not, like it or not, was the grandmother to whose home the revelers cometh. I know it's terribly unsophisticated to celebrate this meal, but I'll tell you up front that I love it, if for no other reason than the wonderful aromas that emanate from the kitchen as this dinner comes together. Christmas builds to a olfactory crescendo with aromas that are released over a period of days. Not so Thanksgiving. This is an all or nothing affair. The assault begins with breakfast bacon and continues through the day as the aroma of bread and pie and turkey and cider meld into a harmonious union that could put the orchestration of a symphony to shame. Thanksgiving is not a difficult meal to prepare; it's as easy to make for twenty as it is for two, but it does require a game plan and a bit or organization to pull it off. I do a great deal of the work ahead of time. Today I made our rolls, both Anadama and potato, and enough pie crust to last us through the Christmas holiday. Everything is in the freezer waiting to debut on the big day. The pie crusts will be rolled and filled on Thanksgiving morning. I pre-bake the rolls. We talked about Refrigerator Potato Rolls last year. Since then I've resurrected this wonderful recipe for Anadama Rolls. The recipe appeared in Bon Appetit over a decade ago. I really like these rolls. There is something especially fitting about rolls made with corn meal and molasses for Thanksgiving day. Symbolism aside, the rolls are really wonderful and they are not hard to make. I know you'll like them. Here's the recipe.
Anadama Rolls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons)dry yeast
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten to blend
2 teaspoons sesame or poppy seeds
1) Bring milk, 1 cup water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook until mixture thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in molasses and 2 tablespoons butter. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Cool until thermometer inserted into center of mixture registers 115°F, whisking often, about 15 minutes.
2) Pour 1/2 cup warm water into small bowl; sprinkle yeast over. Let stand until yeast dissolves and top looks spongy, about 10 minutes. Stir yeast mixture into cornmeal mixture. Gradually mix in 4 cups flour, about 1 cup at a time, to form soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour onto work surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, sprinkling with more flour by tablespoonfuls if needed, about 10 minutes (dough will remain slightly sticky). Form dough into ball. Coat a large bowl with butter or shortening. Add dough to bowl and turn to coat dough with butter or shortening. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
3) Punch down dough. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes. Coat each of two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with butter or shortening. Roll dough into 18-inch-long log. Cut into 18 equal pieces. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into ball. Place 9 dough balls in each pan, spacing apart. Cover each pan loosely with towel. Let rolls stand in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Brush rolls with egg glaze. Sprinkle with seeds. Place rolls in oven and immediately reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature. Wrap rolls in foil and rewarm in 350°F oven 10 minutes.) Serve warm. Yield: 18 rolls.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
The Way the Cookie Crumbles - Cinnamon Rolls
Pinch My Salt - Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls
Cooking By the Seat of My Pants - Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
This recipe is linked to:
Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting