Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Honey rolls

Our current favorite roll 'recipe' is loosely based on the following recipe from the back of a Western Family Bread Flour bag. I put 'recipe' in single quotes, because I tend to get a bit free form when I cook, especially when I bake bread. At any rate, I've never made the glaze, I've never tried the heart-shape business, I usually make the rolls smaller than they suggest, I sometimes make crescent rolls, but I sometimes make buns along the lines of hamburger buns, to use to for deli sandwiches.

I almost always substitute whole wheat flour for some of the bread flour (sometimes just a quarter cup, but usually more than that), I never measure the flour (I just keep adding until it feels right), and I don't measure the honey (who likes to scrape away at a measuring scoop or cup that's got honey stuck to it?) and rarely use a whole quarter cup. I don't follow the orders or techniques given, and I usually use what is called the sponge method (you make a batter, and let that rise, stir it down, and then add more flour to make a regular dough - from there you follow the directions for the regular dough). I don't always use 2% milk, either - I've used whole and I've used skim, and everything in between. (Did I mention that I'm pretty free form when I bake bread?)

But, all in all, otherwise I stick pretty close to this recipe. ;)

Well, OK, I also mix brands a lot. But it's their recipe, and I've gotten good results with their products, so, if they want to specify Western Family, who am I to quibble?

Heart Shaped Honey Rolls


1 cup Western Family 2% milk

1/4 cup Western Family honey

2-1/2 tsp Western Family yeast

1/4 cup Western Family butter, melted

2 egg yolks, beaten

4 cups Western Family bread flour

2 tsp Western Family salt

2 Tbsp Western Family granulated sugar


2 Tbsp Western Family honey

1/2 cup Western Family butter, melted

2/3 cup Western Family powdered sugar

1/2 tsp finely chopped lemon peel


Warm milk and honey slightly. Add yeast and let stand until foamy. Blend in melted butter and egg yolks. Transfer mixture to large bowl.

Blend together bread flour, salt and sugar; add to yeast mixture. Mix until mixture forms dough. Knead dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover. Place bowl in a warm place until dough doubles in size.

Punch down and form into 12 evenly sized balls. Make a 1/2-3/4" cut into center of the ball from one side to make the heart shape. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover loosely and rise until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. While rolls are baking prepare glaze. Combine honey, melted butter, powdered sugar and lemon peel. When rolls are removed from oven, liberally brush with glaze. Serve warm.

Makes 12.

I usually don't use a greased cookie sheet, if I have baking parchment paper on hand. It's a luxury, but it makes for better results, and easier clean-up. I usually bake the rolls spaced out in shiny, rectangular cake pans, instead of on cookie sheets, the theory being that maybe they won't overbrown as easily that way. (This is just a guess. But it seems to work. For me.) And we don't necessarily serve them warm; they're just fine at room temperature. I freeze most of them. They thaw wonderfully in the microwave.

These are tasty enough and moist enough I often eat them plain - no butter or anything. They work great with peanut butter. Or ham. And lots of other stuff.

Anyway, for all my experimenting with variations, these days this is the main recipe from which I vary - and early on I did follow it to the letter (except for the glaze, and the cutting to make heart shaped rolls), and the results were very good.


Brigette Russell said...

These sound really good. I'm going to try them. Just found your blog by seeing that you had linked to my blog over on Technorati. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll! Just curious how you found mine. I'm relatively new to all this, and find it interesting to find out how people are getting to the site.

Kathryn Judson said...

Dear Brigette, Your blog was recommended in a post over at The Paragraph Farmer. And Patrick has steered me to good posts and blogs before.

Usually I find blogs by following links at other blogs, either in the sidebar links list (I'm a notorious sidebar browser), or in posts. I also have found a lot of blogs that are in my sidebar because the blogger left a comment here, or did a book review over at The Saturday Review of Books, hosted by Semicolon. I've also found blogs in news stories, or touted on book jackets or in author notes inside books.

Kathryn Judson said...

Dear Brigette, Part Two. I've also found a number of blogs the same way you did - somebody linked to mine and I found them at Technorati (or by looking at my stats at SiteMeter).

Barb, sfo said...

These are FABULOUS! I saved the recipe and just tried it this week.
One funny thing, I shaped the rolls, set the pan into the microwave to rise (no drafts in there!) and FORGOT them for 7 hours! They were the size of softballs, but so, so, so good. My older son said all his friends were jealous when he had his lunch sandwich on one of those rolls--of course he bragged that it was homemade. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Kathryn Judson said...

Barb, Glad you liked them. I haven't tried the long rise method yet, but I'm glad to know it works. :)