Rich Dinner Rolls (Redux)
Here is a close up of a 4 inch diameter bread roll (back row, photo below) showing the soft and fluffy texture. These rolls are quite nice the next day at room temperature.
This is a modification of two reliable bread recipes, one that produce great textured dinner rolls (click) and breads and another that is dairy-free (click). There were several objectives for making these:
- An upcoming brunch where it would be more convenient to have rolls than slices of bread
- Accommodation for someone who is dairy-free, wheat-free, and corn-free (except for possible traces in xanthan gum)
- A test of whether soy milk could effectively substitute for cow's milk in making the bread taste richer
- A test to determine if there is a suitable replacement for Expandex
I cut a recipe in half and made one half with soy milk and the other half with water. Both were excellent, and we had a difficult time detecting taste differences between the two batches. If anything, the soy milk version is a little nuttier.
Because Expandex is getting harder to find and because the retailers are charging more and more, another objective was to test the use of Chebe regular all purpose bread mix as a substitute for Expandex. Chebe is sold online by Chebe (www.chebe.com), by Amazon, and I found it with some difficulty in Palo Alto, CA. None of the Whole Foods Markets in our area carried the product at the time of this posting. Chebe appears to have about half of the "power" of Expandex; therefore, you need to use twice as much. You can use the flour blend recipe below, which I believe contributes to the soft texture of the bread, or add 1/2 cup of Chebe regular all purpose bread mix to 4-1/2 cups of your favorite gluten free flour blend.
Gluten Free Flour Blend + Chebe (Makes about 5 cups)
|1 -1/2 Cups
|1 - 1/2 Cups
||Chebe regular all purpose bread mix
Bread Recipe (may be doubled)
|2 Cups minus 2 Tablespoons
||Gluten Free flour with Chebe added(see above)
||Potato flour (not potato starch)
|2 - 3 Tablespoons
||Sugar or honey
||Xanthan gum, Guar gum or a 50%-50% mixture of both
|1/2 tablespoon of 1/2 packet
||Instant yeast (We've not had good luck with Fleischmann's)
||Soy milk or water warmed to 110°F
||Large eggs. Put eggs in warm water if directly from the fridge. When warm, separate yolks from whites
|1 or 2 Tablespoons
||Earthbalance non-dairy margarine melted (Also available soy-free)
||(Optional) egg mixed with 2 Tablespoons water to brush tops of bread dough after rolls are formed
||(Optional) Sesame seeds or poppy seeds
||Olive or cooking oil for fingers
- Put a pinch of sugar into the soy milk or water and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Place in a warm location for 5 - 10 minutes until foamy. We put this in the oven near the light and turn on the light.
- Using Earthbalance, fully coat a 12 cup muffin or cupcake tin. You will need to also coat another tin for the slight amount of excess dough (perhaps the equivalent of 2 more muffin cups worth).
- For ease of measurement, put 2 Tablespoons of potato flour in the bottom of a measuring cup. Fill the rest up with gluten flour. Add another full cup of gluten free flour. Now you don't have to worry about how to get 2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl
- Put the liquid ingredients, except for 2 egg yolks and melted margarine into the work bowl of a mixer, or if you are strong, you can mix with a spoon
- Add dry ingredients. It is better to add the dry ingredients in a few stages.
- Mix until the flour is moistened. If you are mixing by hand, you will need to knead the mixture. It will be very stiff. The objective is to allow the yeast to come into contact with the flour without coating the flour particles with egg yolks and margarine.
- Allow the flour mixture to stand 5 - 10 minutes to let the yeast begin to act on the flour
- Next add the egg yolk and melted margarine and mix on high (or beat by hand). The result will be a uniform dough
- Pour some oil into a bowl. This is how to keep your fingers from becoming totally sticky.
- With wet hands and oiled fingers, scoop out some dough and roll a ball to approximately 3/4" in diameter. Put a total of 3 balls of dough in the muffin cup so that it is about half full. You may have to adjust the size of the balls to make sure you don't over or under fill the muffin cups. Now fill the rest of the muffin cups in the same manner. You may have some dough left over. Use your imagination.
- (Optional) brush the tops of the rolls with the egg-water mixture or spray with olive oil
- Allow to rise until doubled in bulk and coat with egg mixture again or spray with olive oil again. If you coat with the egg mixture, you can now sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds.
- Bake for about 13 minutes in a pre-heated 375° F oven or until the internal temperature of the bread is 200° F. If you don't have a thermometer, a stainless steel cake tester or toothpick will come out clean when it is inserted into the fully baked bread. Do not over-cook the bread.
- Allow the bread to cool before eating. You can freeze the bread and bring it back to room temperature. Bread will taste better if you wrap it in aluminum foil and heat for 5 minutes in a 450° F oven.
This bread dough can be braided. If you are using honey, then you can adjust the stiffness of the dough by adding 1 or 2 Tablespoons of additional flour. A braided bread will take longer to bake. You can also make the bread in a loaf pan, and the cooking time will be on the order of 40 minutes.