Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dried Cranberry Dinner Rolls

Thanksgiving is only a week away and I don't know about you, but I'm already starting to think about what I'm going to serve. I don't usually do "test recipes," making up a batch of something before I intend to serve it, and this isn't one. Instead, these rolls came about as al the ideas that I had for different courses and ingredients were floating around in my head. Dinner rolls and cranberries were the two that spoke loudest to me, and combining them produced these Dried Cranberry Dinner Rolls.
The rolls are delicious, soft with a great texture and a bit of sweetness from the cranberries. They're not actually sweet at all, although there is a bit of honey in the recipe, and they can certainly be used to sop up gravy with dinner. The good thing about any roll like this one is that, even though they work with savory foods, they can still be breakfast-friendly if you have leftovers
I used bread flour, not all purpose, in this recipe and that is what gives the rolls such a nice texture. They sell bread flour at most supermarkets these days, so keep an eye out for it.

Dried Cranberry Dinner Rolls
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup milk, warm (105F-110F)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2-2 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 egg yolk

In a large bowl, combine milk and yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes, stirring slightly to dissolve yeast.
Stir in honey, butter, salt and 2 cups of bread flour. Add remaining flour in a tablespoonful at a time, stirring until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Place dough in a lightly greast bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and flatten slightly. Knead in cranberries and let dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into eight equal portions and shape each into a ball. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
With a fork, beat the egg yolk with 2-3 tbsp water and brush the mixture over the rolls.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until rich golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

Makes 8 rolls.