Ok, there is only ONE DAY LEFT to vote in the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest!!! Please go here for all the information, and please vote – if you have already voted, consider voting again. I just found out that the winner is also going to be on TV, do you believe it?? That is really the last thing I need right now, but it would be an experience I would never forget, and my girls would go NUTS!!
I was talking to one of my favorite people at work today. I won’t go into more details to protect their identity, but this person was asking me if I ever felt like one of those chinese acrobats that spins plates. That analogy never occurred to me, but YES, all the time – in fact I am doing it as I write this right now. Lately this person has felt like that quite often, and boy do I understand. I am constantly focussing on the plate that is just about to stop, and it is a hard game, let me tell you. I didn’t know what to tell the person other than, hang in there. Eventually the plates will start spinning on their own, at least that’s what I keep telling myself…
Every once in a while though, and only when I can see the forest through the trees – I decide to make bread. I saw this recipe in Cooking Light at least a year or so ago, and it has been sitting in my pantry ever since, just waiting for me to see that forest. When I finally made it, I had every intention of following the recipe exactly and making a Challah. Unfortunately I don’t see the forest that often, and the bread flour I used was probably past it’s prime. During the first rising, it hardly rose at all. So, I quickly decided instead of chucking the dough all together, I would try making rolls, and see if I could salvage the ingredients. Luckily for me, it worked. They ended up rising during the second round, and in the oven, and they were excellent. Nice and fluffy on the inside, a little crusty on the outside, and just all around a good recipe. So – the next time you see that forest, treat yourself to some bread making. Maybe while you are waiting for the dough to rise, you can spin some of those plates that stopped a while ago. I know it alway makes me feel better.
- 1 cup warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded aged fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 10 7/10 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 13 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 3 cups)
- Cooking spray
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in butter, salt, 5 egg yolks, and 3 eggs. Stir in fontina and chives. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 10.7 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/4 cups) and 12.4 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour to yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch down dough; cover and let rise 50 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
To make Challah, follow these instructions: Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Roll each ball into a rope about 15 inches long. Place 3 ropes parallel to one another; braid ropes. Pinch ends together, and tuck under loaf. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 ropes. Place loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
To make rolls following these instructions: Cut dough into 24 equal portions. Create a round ball out of each portion by tucking it under itself. Place the balls into two 12 cup muffin tins. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water, stirring well with a whisk. Brush loaves (or rolls) gently with egg mixture. Sprinkle loaves (or rolls) evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano (which I didn’t do, and they were still amazing). Bake at 375° for 25 minutes (or less if making rolls) or until golden. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Cheese and Chive Challah Rolls