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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Honey Wheat Rolls

These are our new favorite rolls (and they're egg-free!), the only draw back is they take awhile for the two risings. They are soft and moist and don't taste heavy like some whole wheat rolls.  Also the honey adds a nice touch of sweetness.  Adapted from King Arthur Flour (we preferred them crescent shape, and the recipe below reflects that change).

·          1 packet "highly active" active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
·          1 cup lukewarm water
·          1/4 cup orange juice
·          1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
·          3 tablespoons honey
·          1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
·          2 cups King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
·          1 1/4 teaspoons salt
·          2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes or 1/4 cup potato flour
·          1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

1) If you're using active dry or "highly active" yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
2) Combine the dissolved yeast with the remainder of the water and the rest of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 5 to 7 minutes at second speed. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.
3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, till it's quite puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.
4) While the dough is rising, lightly grease a baking sheet.
5) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it in half or thirds.  Take one third and cover the other two pieces with a towel or plastic wrap.  6) Roll each section into a circle and then cut into 12-16 wedges (pizza slices).
7) Roll each wedge up crescent style and place on grease cookie sheet.
8) Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for 1 to 2 hours. They'll become very puffy. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
9) Bake the rolls for 8-12 minutes, bake until they're mahogany-brown on top, but lighter colored on the sides.
10) Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. They'll be hot and delicate, so be careful. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Maple Brown Sugar Ham in the Slow Cooker

I keep coming back to this recipe every holiday we make a ham.  It tastes fabulous and it's just so nice to have more oven space for roasting veggies and baking rolls.  

7-8 pound bone-in spiral-cut ham
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all natural maple syrup (yes, please use pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup)
2 cups pineapple juice

Use a 6-7 quart slow cooker. Unwrap the ham and discard flavor packet. Place the ham into the slow cooker stoneware, flat-side down. Rub brown sugar on all sides. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. An hour before serving, baste ham with the collected juices from the bottom of the slow cooker. When cooking is done, remove carefully and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before carving.