Today was a beautiful overcast day, the kind that screams for oven fresh baked goodies. Dan was off doing manly man things, the boys were “enjoying” their first day back at school and it was just me and the mini-munchkins. The only way for it to be a more perfect bread making day would be for a kitchen fairy to magically appear and “Bipity Bopity Boo” me enough counter space to properly knead dough. Nevertheless, my mind was set, the forces of nature were on my bread making side and no one would stop me from my starchy victory.
I asked Danielle if she wanted to help make some bread. Her little hazel eyes lit up and she skipped into the kitchen saying “I’m the Little Red Hen and Sam is the cat” (it’s one of our bedtime stories). After helping mix all the ingredients, she got her very own ball of dough to knead and bake. Which, by the way, was the cutest darn thing to watch! We even put a letter “D” on hers with my trusty food coloring markers (again, the elation of a dollar well spent). Of course, she picked the color yellow with which to write, and surprisingly it showed after baking.
The thing about baking bread is that it forces you to slow down a bit. Gives you time to think things over while providing a lovely little workout for your arms. Really, when was the last time you took 10 mins to just smoosh something? It’s quite therapeutic. Truthfully, my favorite part of making bread is getting to punch down the dough after the first rise. Especially when you do an old fashion, I only have a fourth of a teaspoon of yeast left, over night rise where the dough is all spongy and uber inflated, yet the surface is so smooth and pillowy. Deep breath in and POW. The dough is helpless against your release of pent up angst. Then you get to smoosh it again! Yeah, I like bread.
So here’s our Potato Onion Wheat(ish) Rolls and some pics of Miss Danielle in all her “Little Red Hen” beauty: Be sure to note her first self made roll. It’s the one on the bottom with the yellow “D”, just in case you weren’t paying attention to what I said earlier.
Potato Onion Wheat Rolls
1 cup warm potato water
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
Put potato water into large mixing bowl, add yeast and honey and let sit for 10 mins to proof. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix flours, salt and onion powder together. After yeast mixture has become frothy, stir in mashed potatoes and flour mixture until it forms a ball. If it's too sticky, add more flour; too dry add more water (FYI: you'll want to lean more on the sticky side).
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 mins. Shape into a ball and place inside a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap or a dish cloth. Let rise until doubled in size (about 60-90 mins). Punch down dough and smoosh the air out of it. Divide dough into little balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover again with plastic wrap/dish cloth and let rise again for an hour(ish).
Cook at 375 degrees for 15-20 mins. Once baked, brush butter on tops and cover again with plastic wrap/dish cloth and let cool.