Saturday, November 21, 2009

Netarts Rolls

Jej said these are basically a Fannie Farmer recipe, but I don't know Ms. Farmer from a stump, so I say they are Netarts Rolls on account of having eaten them at the beach. They are best straight out of the oven of course, but the high fat content makes them keep very well.

This recipe is a bit more freewheeling than my other bread recipes. I said before that I am not a good baker. This is so. As evidenced by the recipes I use, I have worked out a couple formulae that I stick to pretty rigidly, because I don't know what will happen if I deviate even a little bit. Unlike the rest of my cooking which is usually a 'bit of this, some of whatever" approach, baking has an aura of mystique for me. It's intimidating.

But! I arrived at the beach and Jej had these rolls in the oven. I asked for the recipe and she said something like this:

You take about a half cup of water and a few tablespoons of sugar and about a quarter cup of flour and mix it up with a couple teaspoons of yeast and wait for it to get foamy, then take about a quarter cup of oil and a quarter cup of melted butter and another cup of flour and a cup of water and a pinch of salt and mix it in and wait for it to poof up again, then you mix in more flour until you get a really soft dough. Then you pull off bits and roll them on oil, you put them in the pan and wait until they're poofy, then you bake 'em at like, 375.


You know, it really was pretty much that simple. Some pointers though-

1. The middle part, the add-flour-butter-and-oil part, you should end up with a gooshy mix that is rather thicker than batter, but still too loose and sticky to be 'dough'.
2. When mixing up the last stage into dough, use only one hand to knead it with. It is supposed to remain super soft and will stick all over you.
3. Because it is so gooey, when you are tearing off lumps to form rolls, get your hands quite oily first.
4. The dough will forgive you. Don't bother trying to make perfectly round balls of dough, they'll magically fix themselves with no effort at all on your part.
5. The baking took about half an hour in the format you see here. I bet if they were more spread out, it would go faster.

I think I'll put them in a bigger pan next time, and make each roll a bit smaller though. That's a regular 9" pie pan they're in.

Eat with butter and honey. Yes I know they're already dripping with fat; food is for joy, not mere survival.

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