Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yeast Dough Trick

Do you ever let your yeast dough rise, punch it down, and then find the dough too sticky to work with? The temptation is to reach for the flour. Work in enough flour, and you can sculpt it anyway you want. However, if you add a lot more flour, your rolls can become tough and dry! That's why I wanted to share with you some of my tricks for working with yeast dough.

I have two tricks. I've developed them because my Golden Roll Recipe can turn out a little bit different each time: the Golden Rolls are very tasty and no one guesses that their pretty golden color comes from something healthy, carrot puree. But I think carrot puree in yeast bread is a bit of an inexact science. Sometimes I can work with the dough easily; other times, not so much.

My first trick makes pretty crescent rolls

1) Lightly flour a surface and then spray your hands with cooking spray.
2) Carefully cut off enough dough for 8 rolls (my recipe uses 3 cups flour, so I break the dough ball in half.) If when you gently handle the dough, it still sticks a lot to your greased hands, work in a small amount of flour, a tablespoon at a time.
3) Form the dough into a sphere so it will be easier to roll out into a perfect circle.
4) The dough is probably too sticky to use a rolling pin. Instead, press into a circle with your greased hands. Don't worry if your can't press it as thin as you eventually want it.
5) Cut like a pie into 8 pieces. Remove a piece, press flatter with your hands, and then roll up starting at the large end of the triangle. Repeat with other pieces. If desired, brush tops with melted butter.
6) Let rise until double, then bake as directed in your recipe.

My next trick is faster and easier -- Muffin-Shaped Yeast Bread

1) Grease a muffin tin and a cookie scoop. After the dough has risen once, punch it down. Use the scoop to put dough into the muffin tins, filling each 2/3 the way full. This usually takes about 2 scoops of dough into each. With greased fingers, turn the dough over.
2) Let rise double and bake as directed in your recipe.

And if you take them somewhere, everyone will tell you, "These muffins taste like bread!"

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