I have been consuming mass quantities of bread lately. It all started with Boston Brown Bread in jars, and then I decided to make a yeasted rolls for a dinner party. Unfortunately, I chose a hot, muggy day, and I neglected to take note of the quantities in the recipe before starting. The result?
Most of the year my yeast dough is recalcitrant and lumpen because the temperature is too chilly (the Frugal Husband likes a cool house in winter). I’m used to making bread under such frigid conditions that I have to slip a heating pad under the dough to get it to rise. Not this time. The yeast was high-kicking in the bowl like the cast from A Chorus Line.
Parker House rolls are a very American kind of bread. They were popularized in the nineteenth century by a hotel in Boston, and became the archetypal dinner roll–smooth, slightly sweet, and luscious. They’re enriched with butter and eggs, like a sweet roll dough. I chose Bobby Flay’s recipe. It’s enough to feed an army.
On this hot, humid day, the dough swallowed up an extra cup of flour before it got anywhere near firm enough to form a ball, and still more during the kneading. It was the stickiest dough I’ve ever worked with. Pretty soon my hands, the counter, the bowl and every utensil were covered with dough. But the fun was only just beginning.
In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have tried to roll them up with Romano cheese and herbes de Provence. It was one of those spur of the moment things.
Once I managed to get it rolled up, I had to slice off the individual pieces with a length of dental floss (a word to the wise: avoid the mint flavor). That roll was flopping and flying everywhere. It was like trying to slice a dancing jellyfish.
At this point, the Long Suffering Husband came in and helpfully remarked on how hot it was in the kitchen. With the oven going at full blast. And the high approaching 86F. That’s when I desperately took the other half of the still-expanding dough, stuffed it into an (oiled) Rubbermaid container and confined it in the refrigerator.
The next day was much cooler, and the dough was chastened. Quite well-behaved, in fact. I patted it into shape, spread it with butter, sugar and orange zest, and cut it into tight little rounds which rose in due time.
What an experiment! Loved the “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” reference. That and “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” were always my favorites. Hmmm, never noticed the “Bartholemew” link before… I’d be afraid to try the yeast breads here in humid Florida, but I admire your perseverance and the ultimate success of those orange rolls! Yum.
Thanks! Is it the same Bartholomew character in both books? Or did Dr. Seuss just love that name? My other favorite of his was McElligot’s Pool, which had drawings of all sorts of fantastic fishes.
The orange rolls were good, but I am on a diet now : (
Yes, it turns out that it is,the same peasant boy in both stories, a subjext of the “haughty ruler of Didd, King Derwent.” And thus his adventures proceed. I’m amazed that I never realized this before! Of course, I was only a preschooler at the time these were read to me, and such complex connections were evidently beyond me. 😊
Haha, the haughty ruler of Didd! Love it. Seuss’s names always make me laugh.
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
Love the Dr Seuss reference, big fans in this household and I have to say, ther is something ‘suess-like’ in the shape of your lovely orange curly whirly rolls. I too am on a strict ‘watch what I eat’ jag. Bloody boring.
You’re right, spiral rolls are very Seuss! Especially when they’re a bit off-kilter 🙂 I am trying to jazz up my low-carb diet with plenty of sharp flavors, but it is getting progressively more heart-breaking to live without potatoes…
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
Potato are a carb!! 😱😱 😂😂 ( I have conveniently added them to the allowed list of ‘vegetables.’) I actually have really only been trying to cut out all dessert and do more exercise, hashtag, over it. Wishing you luck with your regime.
Cut out all dessert??? What are you going to blog about?? You mean you’re going to bake stuff for the family and not eat it yourself? Ouch. I am trying to do more exercise too.
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
Yes, all dessert except for the French patisserie bee sting I ate today. I have no willpower. Will have to run tomorrow. It’s going so well. Not.
I had to look up bee sting. I found that is it originally German, a yeasted, barely sweet cake, but topped with crunchy honey-almond-butter caramel! Oh dear. No wonder you couldn’t resist.
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
Those orange rolls look divine! 13 more days to go till I arrive in Baked Goods Heaven aka Germany. Mum’s cranked up the production line already 😉
Mmm, baked goods heaven. I am envious!
Ooooh, my life will finally make sense again… counting down the hours 😉
Ha ha ha! I think I’ll just pop to the bakery and buy my rolls! Those orange rolls look yummy though! 🙂
Ah yes but you live in Berlin and probably have a fantastic bakery around the corner. I don’t!!
I have around 6 in my little village alone 🙂 And that’s not counting the supermarkets which also have bakery sections!
Arrgh, you’re killing me! We have “bakeries” here and a section in the supermarket, but it is *not* the same!
I’m publishing a post on Alsace today – wait til you see the cakes in that one 🙂
cruel. to see pixures of what appears to be delectable (delectIble?) stuff when i’m hungry. me and my body might be “somewhat strange” in that i’m less hungry when it’s hot, though.
beer! (we went on a bike ride today, our local “river-front” path and an enterprising tavern constructed a big obvious path to/from the main path to their door. of course we stopped!)
Haha! I couldn’t resist a tavern while biking. But alcohol makes one’s muscles go wobbly, don’t you find?
I am much less hungry when it’s hot. Maybe we need more food in winter just to keep ourselves warm.
Henry Chamberlain said:
Rolls are a lovely thing!
Thank you! I would eat orange rolls every morning if I could get away with it 🙂
ohh very nice, brave you for tackling yeast in heat 🙂 i am sure they tasted really nice in spite of odd shapes 🙂 I am a fan of savoury bakes myself, not used to sweet breakfasts so the first batch would have been perfect! My gran used to be great with yeast bakes but my mom never mastered them and i avoid them 😉 But i know i miss really good break and the variety of savoury bakery items…
The orange rolls look nice for an afternoon tea or a lazy Sunday brunch 🙂
Oh yes, the orange rolls are heavenly with tea, at any time of day. I like a savory bread myself. The smell of it in the oven is the best. And you can’t get that from a bakery!
Unless it is a proper one there are a few here but way too far most but i discovered a German one which also does Mediterranean inspired thing a sort of puff pastry burekia with either cheese spinach meat or potatoes That fresh golden and crunchy with beer… heaven. I need to make the trip.
Mmm, I love puff pastry, and phyllo dough. The Greeks make a genius pie with phyllo and greens and herbs, and feta cheese.
The mint floss! Oh that’s good. 🙂
Well, these look fantastic. Have you ever made brioche? I keep contemplating it, but then I look at the recipe and all the butter and think, “I’d better do that when I have company. I’ll need someone to help me eat it all.” Then when I have company, I think, “I’ve never made this before. Do I really want to experiment now?”
On the cutting of the rolls…I wonder if it would be possible to roll just after working up the gluten so you have a nice non-sticky dough to work with, then cutting, then letting the dough rest?
I have never made brioche, but I’d like to. And I have the same dilemma as you when contemplating new recipes for baked goods! As to the cutting, I never reached a point where the dough was non-sticky, probably because there was so much butter in it. Maybe a less enriched bread would work on a hot day, or maybe it would help to let the dough sit and develop gluten overnight. But I found that the stickiness was much reduced by chilling it.
Yum and lovely. LOL re the mint floss.
Haha! It will do if you’ve got nothing else 🙂