I actually can't believe I'm admitting this but, back in the day you would have regularly
found my family sitting around the breakfast table at Bob Evan's enjoying Sunday brunch (to be fair, we did
live in Toledo, Ohio... not the most bustling food metropolis of all places and our favorite, swarthy lebanese restaurant sadly didn't serve breakfast, ergo, Bob Evans). Listen, their eggs are alright and the bacon is regular old restaurant bacon... but what kept
us coming back for more...? The endless yeast rolls. Those puffy clouds of squishy flour with a perfectly crafted "peel me back" bubble top BEGGED
to be smeared with butter and that old-fashioned uber-sugary honey. Somehow you'd eat one in it's entirety and feel like you just ate a puff of air and think it was perfectly okay to grab another. "this time i'll use it for my toast to sop up all that egg yolk." "oh, well... i can't just leave that jam on the side of the plate if there's a half eaten roll on the other side of the plate, besides, they're free!" And suddenly you're in a Bob Evan's coma and your pant legs are coated in hundreds of bread crumbs.
Yes, this does describe me... fairly well, actually. But it really
describes my sister, Jordan. Boy, does she have a LOVE... a long-term, nostalgic, star-crossed love
for Bob Evan's rolls. Problem is, we've gotten a little snobby in our old age and just
can't seem to bring ourselves to enjoy those fluffy rolls in that giant red and yellow, half barn, half mountain cottage establishment with the heart healthy senior menu. And as you well know, I've been on a bit of a baking journey at home anyways... well I've done it, jord. I've really done it and we can really enjoy them any. time. we want. without sacrificing environment and without getting 10 day old kid syrup from the edge of the table on our sleeves. (gross
So spark up, sparky! Get out your baking hands and serve these for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack, whatever. They're obviously best served straight out of the oven but we ate them again the next day and then used the 3 day old leftovers as personal pot-pie crust. Thanks be to Williams-Sonoma for the starting idea of this recipe.
- 1/6 cup warm water (measure by filling HALF your 1/3 cup)
- 1 & 3/4 teaspoons active-dry yeast
- pinch of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (i used 1/2 cup almond milk and soured it with 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar)
- 1/8 cup agave, honey or sugar... but I highly recommend the subtle flavor of agave in these.
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (half stick)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 & 1/8 cup bread flour
Pour the warm water into a small glass and sprinkle the yeast and pinch of sugar on top. Let it sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Combine the buttermilk, agave, melted butter and beaten egg until well blended. Add in the salt and the warm water and yeast mixture. Blend well with your electric mixer. (or better yet, your standing mixer with the dough hook if you have one) Little by little, mix in the flour until your dough is sticky and fairly stringy. At this point, I like to use my hands instead of having to scrape down the beaters every few seconds. Knead the dough really well, form into a ball and place it into a bigger, lightly olive oiled bowl. Cover it with a dish towel or plastic wrap for an hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a round cake pan and set it aside. Once your dough has been rising for an hour, remove it from the bowl, punch it down and roll it into a big, long rope, long enough to cut 16 inch and a half segments from it. Cut the dough rope into 16 segments and roll each segment into a ball before placing into the cake pan. Squish them all in there side by side and bake for 18-23 minutes. Ours took the full 23 minutes but keep an eye on them. Once they're golden and perfectly rounded on top, they're ready to enjoy. If you'd like, brush over the top of them with 1 beaten egg to give them a shiny finish.
Feels a little strange to be sharing wintery recipes with you at the moment, considering it's just turned spring over here in the southern hemisphere... but I think tomorrow I might have to share that pot pie recipe with you. It was a glorious compilation of leftovers and and a desperate need to use up fresh ingredients before we left the country... which means it wasn't the prettiest of meals, but it was SO delicious... so make those rolls tonight and get ready to use them the next day for pot pie!
happy.....monday? to you... I think it's tuesday here.