I learned about the famous Parker House rolls sometime ago while watching one of the many food shows that I use to waste my time. This morning since I was up at 4 AM due to jet lag, I decided to try my hand at them (also because I didn’t think we had anything in the house for breakfast except for eggs and I figured that some bread would go well with eggs).
I ended up loosely following a recipe from King Arthur Flour, but made some changes based on what I had in my pantry.
3 cups flour (I used a mixture of bread and AP)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup milk (I used rice drink as that is all we have in the house)
1 large egg (mine was more of a medium sized egg)
3 Tbsp melted butter
The overall recipe was fairly easy. Mix all of the above ingredients save for the last 3 Tbsp of melted butter – that was for later. I did slightly warm up the rice drink with the egg whisked in to get it closer to room temperature. Initially (maybe due to lack of sleep), I only used 2 cups of flour and couldn’t figure out why the dough was so wet and seemed to be more consistent with a cake mixture. I eventually realized my mistake and added the extra cup of flour and it still came together okay though was a very wet dough (I suspect from the all the butter).
I popped the dough into a lightly greased bowl and placed it in my oven’s proof setting for 80 minutes (originally it was set at 90 minutes but I took it out a little early). The dough rose quite nicely.
The King Arthur recipe calls to shape the dough into the orginial recipe shape (as seen here). I decided to do my own thing.
I spread the dough out into a roughly 8″ x 12″ rectangle. I took some of the melted butter and generously brushed it over the entire dough rectangle.
I then divided the dough into 16 pieces. Each piece was then individually rolled into more or less a ball like shape and placed in some cast iron pans.
I then let it rise for abour 40 minutes (the recipe says to let them puff up and not double at about 45-60 minutes).
In a 350 F pre-heated oven I popped both the cast iron pans into the center of the oven. The original recipe called to bake for 20-25 minutes until brown but mine ended up taking closer to 30 minutes (maybe like 29 minutes). I then brushed the top of the bread with the remaining melted butter.
Overall I was impressed with how they came out. The inside dough structure was soft and pillowy and there was a bit of crunch from the outside of the bread. This is definitely something I can do again in the future.
A few weeks ago I decided to make some bread for my lunch (I’d bring the bread with some deli meat and sliced cheese – very European I know). I decided to just make two boules and bring one for a co-worker who has asked for me to bring some bread for her previously (little did I know that she’d be out sick). I went back and found an old recipe and tweaked it slightly.
350 g bread flour
364 g water
3 g yeast
350 g bread flour
266 g water
14 g salt
I mixed up the preferment and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I then added that to the remaining ingredients above. I mixed these up thoroughly and then let it sit for the water to absorb before I kneaded it.
I then proceeded to knead it for approximately 15 minutes until it was relatively smooth and I could do the “window” test – not perfectly but close enough. I then set it in a bowl, covered it and used the proof setting on the oven to allow it to rise (double in size).
I pulled the dough out, did the knead and fold method a few times with 30 minutes in between before dividing the dough into 2.
We forgot to buy some bread for the week for lunches and such so I decided I’d give my hand at making a burger bun to use for sandwiches. I perused a few different recipes online and cobbled together my own version as below.
Warm milk – 1.5 cups
Egg – 1 large
Melted butter – 4 Tbsp
Sugar – 2 Tbsp
Active Dry Yeast – 1 Tbsp
Salt – 1.5 tsp
Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
All-purpose flour – 1.5 cups
Mix warm milk, egg, melted butter, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and incorporate until frothy. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix the 2 types of flours and the salt.
Add wet to dry and mix.
Dump mixture onto countertop and knead for 5-7 minutes.
Form into ball and place in oiled bowl and allow to rise (double in size) – ~45 min to 2 hours.
Punch down, pour onto countertop and separate into 8-10 pieces.
Let rest for 10 minutes before forming into balls.
Form each piece into a ball and then flattened to get more hamburger bun shape.
Allow to rise (mine didn’t rise as much as I’d like).
Apply egg wash to each bun.
Pre-heat oven to 380 F
Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (I did 19 minutes).
Cover with kitchen towel for 15 minutes – I read this is supposed to help keep the bread rolls soft.
Last month I tried a new pizza dough recipe. A few months before that, I had read in Men’s Health about an easy pizza dough that did not require hours of preparation (I had been using a no-knead dough recipe that required an 18 hour rise (more details below). I am always looking for both more efficient and tasty recipes for pizza dough. My wife enjoys the one I had been making but I am all for tweaking and improving so I decided to try this new (to me) recipe. I was fairly certain I had left the magazine in a spot in my treadmill room but lo and behold it wasn’t there. I resorted to trying to google the same recipe and don’t know if it was the exact one I had read about initially but I went with it.
Quicker pizza dough ingredients:
6 cups AP flour
2 1/4 cups room temperature water (recipe called for cold water)
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp kosher salt
Add 3 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp yeast to 2 1/4 cups of water in a large bowl and combine
In a separate bowl, mix remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt.
I then added in the flour mix to the flour-water combination (from step 1) and kneaded it within the bowl for about 5 minutes.
I let the dough rest – covered – for 30 minutes.
The dough was separated into 4 (relatively) parts and 3 of them saved in saran wrap and frozen for later use.
I split the dough into 2 balls and made pizzas from them.
A few weeks ago I ventured out to try some new things after a doctor visit. I had fasted overnight and before the appointment so I could get some blood pulled. However that left me hungry after my visit. I decided to try one of our local coffee roasters that has cold brew coffee on nitro.
First impression was that it looked like a beer. It had a nice foamy head and was nice and chilled. I must say that when taps use nitro, it certainly makes for a much smoother mouth feel of the liquid. I thoroughly enjoyed my first cold brew coffee on nitro. I got the coffee at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters. It’s a quaint little coffee shop that is no frills.
With my coffee in hand, I headed over to the relatively new Paris Baguette. This chain recently moved up here to northern California after I guess it grew big in southern California. This bakery reminds me of a Taiwanese bakery called 85 Degrees. You walk in and grab a tray and all the bread/pastry products are out on trays or in cubbies. You pick what you want and then take your tray to the register to pay and order drinks as well. I ended up getting a buttered croissant, chocolate croissant, and a croissant with an italian sausage in the middle. They were all delicious.