A Minor Setback
January 18, 2008
Okay, I’ll be brief today, because …. Well, because I’m busy. As I’ve told you way too many times, I’ve been delighting all week in cooking for two parties this weekend. And, can I just tell you, when you’re planning for two parties, the last thing you want to happen is for a recipe to totally, completely flop. That’s what happened with the rolls I had planned for tonight’s mini-burgers, the centerpiece of the Guitar Hero Party 2008 menu. What’s that? You think those rolls above look great? Well, that’s because they were my second attempt. The first ones—Ina Garten’s mini brioche rolls—are pictured below:
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)
See, I told you. I had envisioned perfect little golden domes, much like the vehicles for my favorite mini-burgers ever, which I enjoyed way too often when we lived down the street from their purveyor—Matchbox—in D.C. Instead, I got the mottled, lifeless masses I just showed you. Well, that would not do. So, instead of doing the sensible thing and heading to the grocery store for a suitable store-bought replacement, I foraged for a new recipe.
Apparently, I didn’t learn the lesson the first time that one should not attempt a brand spanking new recipe in the midst of a week’s worth of baking and chopping and roasting, oh my. Lucky for me, the second attempt was much, much more successful. For round two, I opted for Bobby Flay’s Parker House rolls, which I made in a miniature form.
And Mr. Flay didn’t disappoint. These little rolls came out puffed and golden brown, looking burger-worthy with their dusting of sesame seeds (which I adhered with a quick brush of melted butter before baking). I’m not sure where I went wrong with Ina’s recipe. I have to think it was my fault because I’ve never, ever had a problem with any of her recipes before. But no time to dwell on that now. I’ve got tiny burger patties to mold. Kevin’s promised to grill them up tonight despite the low, low temperatures here. And I can’t wait to slice into these rolls and stuff them with bite-sized burgers. Oh, and white cheddar and caramelized onions too, if you must know.
Parker House Rolls
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar and let cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit until foamy. Combine milk mixture, eggs, yeast, salt, and 1/2 of the flour in a mixer with the dough attachment and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until a smooth ball forms.
Remove from the bowl and knead by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 70 minutes. On a floured surface, punch down the dough and shape into desired shapes. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover again and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter before serving.