|I tried my best. I'll do better next time.|
I shouldn't have listened because it's really not that hard. But because of all the negative comments I have been avoiding using yeast pretty much my entire life. Which is a little crazy considering my mother is an avid homemade bread maker. This all started after I'd left home mostly, so I really missed out on the tutoring I could've gotten from her had I still been living at home.
But it's never to late to start baking with yeast and I've done it a few times over the past couple of months and things have gone well. I think my bigger challenges come in shaping and managing the dough once it's all mixed together. (see appearance of my rolls above)
Saturday when I made these rolls, it was a cold rainy/snowy day and it was chilly in the house so I felt like I needed a decent amount of additional warmth for raising the dough. I kept it on the stovetop near my pot of soup, thinking it might get a little warmth from there - it wasn't much but it helped.
My first misstep was that while the yeast was dissolving with the warm water and sugar I accidentally banged the bowl and sent it sliding across the counter a bit. I think that broke up my yeast a bit because it lost that smooth, expanding texture it gets when it's left alone. I let it sit for a while longer and finally just decided to go forward with the dough. It did rise a bit more but never looked as big, round and fluffy as it has usually.
Once I got the dough combined - and I used the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer for the first time - it didn't really get the consistency I hoped for. Maybe I should have kneaded it more but I was afraid to damage the yeast anymore at this point.
Then I neglected to follow the recipe. It says to immediately divide the dough into rolls, put them in the pan and let them rise again for 15-20 minutes. But I missed that and left it in the bowl with a warm towel on top just hoping it would rise. It did, but still didn't look all that great. Realizing now that I had not divided the dough immediately as I should have, I did that and put the rolls in the greased pan and let them rise for another 20 minutes. There was life to the dough, so even though they didn't look as good at I had hoped I could tell at this point that they would cook up pretty well. Might not be light and flaky but would definitely be edible for dinner.
I need to work on my roll forming skills. The sizes weren't uniform and I struggled to get a pretty texture across the top. I have watched my mom, aunts and other relatives work simple looking magic to make beautiful rolls. Clearly I need more practice. I should also ask my mom for her roll recipe some time.
So I baked them for about 18 minutes until they were golden brown on top. Then I brushed them with butter while they were still hot. We served them warm and enjoyed them with butter, jams and honey at the table. I take it totally as my own responsibility as to how they turned out texture-wise. They were a little heavy in texture a little bit biscuit-like, but flaky and tasty anyway. They could have been lighter and prettier but we ate them all the same and quite enjoyed them. Next time I'll do things a little better but this was a great first try and a very quick and easy recipe.