I picked up a pound of Dai Due‘s famous country style breakfast sausage (stick some in your stuffing!) this past Sunday at the new HOPE market. Open from 11am to 3pm, this new market fit snugly into our schedule and we were thrilled to see our old friends Edgar and Gayle (and their gorgeous bell peppers!) from Finca Pura Vida.
Dai Due was also hawking goose fat, one of my favorite shortenings. Mild and soft, goose grease gives excellent flavor and texture to your homemade rolls. I’ll be cranking out my traditional recipe on Thursday. It’s an old reliable standard and you can substitute duck fat, quality lard (such as Dai Due’s), or an honest compatible oil for the goose fat.
SOFT DINNER ROLLS makes one dozen
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast—NOT Instant or Bread Machine or Rapid Rise
- ¼ cup warm water—a little above body temperature
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar. I buy this in bulk at Central Market. Don’t forget to bring your own container.
- ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons local milk . I use goat milk from either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm.
- 6 Tablespoons organic butter, cut up. I love Organic Valley. Whole Foods has OV on sale for $4.99 per one pound box. Minus their $1 OFF Whole Deal coupon, you can buy just about the tastiest butter around for only $3.99 a pound! Or click for a coupon to use at another store.
- 2 Tablespoons goose fat.
- 1 local egg
- 12 ounces (2 ½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons) organic all-purpose flour. WF 365 brand in the 5# bag is usually the best buy.
- 4 ounces (1 cup) whole wheat flour, either organic or Texas-grown Richardson Farm‘s.
- 1 teaspoon salt. I use Real Salt, available in bulk at Whole Foods. Bring a container!
- 3 Tablespoons organic butter, melted, for shaping the rolls
The method here is standard yeast-dough procedure. Proof your yeast in the warm water with a pinch of the sugar. Scald the milk, remove from the heat and add the butter and goose fat. Let cool to just warm. I like to use my stand mixer (or bread machine) to knead dough, so I put the dry ingredients into the bowl, then dump in the liquids (including egg) and let ‘er rip. Kneading with the mixer should take about 7 to 10 minutes to develop a soft, smooth dough. You can also knead it by hand, but I have a harder time changing diapers and rescuing the toddler when I’m up to my elbows in dough.
Place the dough into a large buttered bowl and roll it around a bit to lube the entire surface. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and let the dough rise for an hour or so, until doubled. Press the dough down with your hands and let it rest for 5 minutes while you prepare to shape the rolls.
Divide the dough into 12 equalish portions. I admit to frequently using a kitchen scale for this step, but it’s not crucial.
I usually shape the rolls into knots, as in this totally unflashy (but better than my currently non-existent) video. Sometimes I also shape double knots. Place these rolls onto a lightly buttered baking sheet. An easy method for shaping is the “cloverleaf”. Simply form each roll portion into three little balls and place them in well-buttered muffin tins (1 roll=3 balls in one muffin cup). Brush the formed rolls, whatever their design, with the melted butter. Cover them with plastic or an overturned large roasting pan and let rise for about 45 minutes, until puffy and approximately doubled.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 375º oven until evenly golden brown and done, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve piping hot with great butter.