I enjoyed the food photography class that I took through Craftsy so much that I decided to check out a couple of their online baking technique offerings. I chose “on the rise: bun & roll techniques” because, even though I did take several bread classes in culinary school, I have found that each chef will have their own technique and style. No two chefs will teach the exact same processes of shaping a boule or baguette. I often struggled in those classes to find the right techniques for myself to be able to mass produce rolls or loaves that were consistent. I eventually found what worked for me but the answer rarely came from one person, picture or video. So, I continue to search for new ideas and hints that will help me create and learn. Chef Jeff Yankellow was an excellent teacher in this series and I was pleased with the variety of dough types, rolls and buns that were presented here. If you are new to bread baking, or intimidated a little by the process, I would highly recommend this course as the chef spends time explaining the purpose of each ingredient and how they will impart texture and/or flavor to the products. If you already know quite a bit about artisan bread making then you will still be able to pick up some ideas and handy tips.
The chef began by making a straight forward soft dinner roll recipe which provided an opportunity to practice mixing, kneading and shaping rolls. He moved onto a sweet roll dough that could be used to make braided rolls, monkey bread, sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. Recipes for whole wheat rolls, rustic hard rolls and sweet glazes were also covered. I had a tough time deciding where I wanted to begin but ultimately opted to make single strand braided rolls using the tender sweet dough recipe. I am glad I did!
I began by adding 2 cups of AP flour (withholding the final 1 cup for incorporation during the kneading process), 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T dry milk powder, 2 t instant yeast & 1 t salt into a large bowl.
Then the egg, butter and vanilla were incorporated. I chose to use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract as I wanted a more concentrated flavor and I like the look of the specks of vanilla bean in the final rolls.
This came together quickly to form a shaggy dough that I then turned out onto the counter, using some of the reserved flour as needed. The goal was to achieve a smooth ball that was soft and pliable but not sticky. I did not use the full volume of reserve flour, as it was not required under the conditions that day.
The dough was covered and allowed to double in volume, which took one hour in my cold kitchen.
The dough was degassed and shaped in a long cylinder, then divided into twelve (even?) portions.
Each portion was rolled out into another cylinder form and braided. I did get the video working for the braiding process. Sorry it is not quite what I was hoping for but next time I will ask my daughter to get a better angle!
These rolls were allowed to proof for another 45 minutes and then egg washed. The rolls were baked at 350°F for 20 minutes.
These were delicious! Even the ones that did not look so pretty! My son suggested that I make “that butter” to serve with them. “That butter” is a cinnamon butter that I made with the pumpkin rolls, and he was right, the rolls were even better!
I hope you give this class a try, you won’t regret it! Next up, Dutch crunch rolls, Yum!