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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls


These rolls have been to the end of the internet and back this month.  It's rare to have dozens of reviews for a bread recipe.  Despite the generally positive comments, I was a little worried about making these rolls because of the many reviews indicating difficulty with the recipe and the photographic evidence of varied results.  Taking into account some of the most common complaints with the recipe, I ultimately ended up with beautifully browned, soft, towering (but not too gargantuan) rolls that I will be making over and over again.  You can read more about these rolls here, here, here, here, and here and approximately 31,695 other places on the web.

You'll Need:

1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
750 grams all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups lukewarm buttermilk
1 Tb honey

Egg Wash:

1 egg
1 tsp water

Springform pan

Getting Started:

Mix yeast with water and set aside for 10 minutes to bloom.

Heat buttermilk until lukewarm.

Now You're Cooking:

In a large bowl measure out 750 grams of flour.  Add salt, buttermilk, honey and yeast mixture.  Stir until you have a slightly sticky but cohesive dough.  If the dough is too wet add flour 1 Tb at a time.  If the dough is too dry and there is more than a skim of flour on the bowl add water 1 Tb at a time until the flour is incorporated.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Add more flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking to your work surface and hands.  You should end up with a very smooth and elastic ball of dough.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled (about an hour and a half).

Once dough has risen, divide into 3.5 oz. portions.  Mine made 14 rolls with a small amount of dough leftover.  Roll each portion into a ball and arrange snugly in a springform pan.

Cover rolls with plastic wrap and let rise another hour.

Once rolls have risen, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Beat egg and water together and brush over the tops of the rolls.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the rolls are browned and firm.  If rolls brown too quickly tent with foil for last 15 minutes of cooking.

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