Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back to the Book - Cloverleaf Rolls & Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

There's something oddly comforting about using recipes that (wow this is going to sound so 20th century) come from a book.  Or print resource (i.e., magazine).  NOT from allrecipes, NOT from epicurious, NOT from someone else's foodblog.  So weird..

 try to ignore the mirrored text.  yay for free browser-based webcam apps.

Seeing the method/photos/commentary on someone else's blog makes me feel way more reassured and trusting about the recipe they recommend, though.  Whereas when it comes from a book, you get maybe a couple sentences of intro/commentary, a perfect result picture/photo (haha, step-by-step, those books are...more expensive), and a supposed assurance of recipe-testing because, yeah, this did make it to print, right?  That strange tendency to believe in solid things..

Anyway, enough rambling!  The following recipes are both from real books.  Like, the book was open while I was cooking!  In the kitchen, on the counter, getting splattered by batter!  CRAZY, I know.
(I was going to copy the recipe WORD for WORD, but then I realized that was, like, plagiarism.  You know, that thing that makes a 10-page paper worthless, screws your academic record up forever, bad-bad-bad, etc. hmmmmm.  Err I'm no awesome recipe writer, so this is still going to be sort of word-for-word, and then where there are more words, i'll use my own.  oookay.)
Cloverleaf Rolls (from Joy of Cooking, twenty-fifth printing, 1981)
makes: 24 two-inch rolls
Ingredients: milk, sugar, butter, salt, active dry yeast, water, all-purpose flour, egg (optional), shredded cheese (optional)
  1. Scald:
       1 c. milk
    Add and stir until dissolved:
       1 tbsp sugar
       2 tbsp butter
       1/4 tsp salt
  2. Sprinkle:
       1 package active dry yeast (I assumed the size of yeast packets hasn't changed in the last 30 years...)
       2 tbsp 105°-115°F water (40°-46°C; lukewarm..)
  3. Add the milk mixture when it has cooled to lukewarm.  Beat in:
       1 egg (optional! but eggs are tasty, so I added it.)
  4. Sift before measuring (as if I ever do, hahahaha..):
       2-2/3 c. all-purpose flour
    Stir in about half to two-thirds of the flour; knead in the rest.  Basic bread-making principles apply here, so add flour only until dough is "workable"...probably like, not sticking to the floured surface you knead it on.  Google "how to knead bread" before starting, it can be helpful.  And confusing.  Eh, it's google.  Place in a greased bowl (I usually put about 1/2 - 3/4 tsp oil in a bowl, then use a paper towel to distribute it evenly over the entire inside).  Turn dough over so entire surface is lightly greased (believe me, this will help you so much later).
  5. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm (~80°F) place until it has doubled in bulk (about 40 minutes to an hour).  Punch down the dough.  Divide the dough into three even portions.  Divide each portion in half.  You should now have 6 pieces of dough.  Each piece is equivalent to 4 rolls.
  6. Assembling the rolls (there was a cute, very clear picture in Joy, but I'm too lazy/scared of copyright violation [now I'm scared?] to post it):
    Take one piece of the divided dough, rip off a fourth of it (this really doesn't have to be super exact.  I rarely am).  Divide this small chunk into three more pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball, and fill the bottom of a muffin tin with the three balls (they should fit, and not be stacked on top of each other).  Do this twenty-three more times.  Alternatively, you could just roll all the balls first, and then fill the tins, but I tend to lose count, so this method works better for me (though I still managed to lose count..).
    Once you've used all the dough to fill tins, brush melted butter on top of each little cluster of dough-balls (this step is SO worth the extra butter and three minutes).
  7. Cover muffin tin, let the dough rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk.  Optional: Sprinkle rolls with shredded cheese (any kind will do..I think.  this is suuuper tasty, by the way).  Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 - 18 minutes.  Remove from pans as soon as they're out of the oven.
each little roll splits magically into three buttery chunks! 8D
    Note: This recipe is amazing.  When trying it out, I actually halved everything...except for the flour (because I'm horribly forgetful).  Soooo, I was slightly panicking when I realized I'd added waaay too much flour (and finally understood why the dough wouldn't absorb any more)...and yet they turned out okay! bahahahaha..

    Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins (from The Totally Muffins Cookbook; I borrowed the Joy formatting for this recipe, though :P)
    makes: 12 muffins
    Ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk*, vanilla, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, blueberries
    1. Preheat oven to 400°F; grease muffin tins or line with paper cups.
    2. Cream together until light and fluffy
         6 tbsp butter
         2/3 c. sugar
    3. Add
         2 eggs
         1 c. buttermilk*
         2 tsp vanilla

      Lightly beat until blended.
    4. In another bowl, stir together
         2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
         1/2 tsp salt
         1 tsp baking soda
         2 tsp baking powder
         1/2 tsp nutmeg
      (actually, I used pumpkin pie spice :P)
    5. Add dry mixture to liquids, stir just until flour disappears.  Gently stir in
         1-1/2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
    6. Fill muffin cups to top; bake 20 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes.  Eat at risk of burning tongue, or wait until cool and then eat.

    Note: I added red food coloring to the batter (with the eggs and vanilla) on a Valentine's-day-mood kinda whim, so that's why the batter is pink.  It's exceptionally useful for deceiving people into thinking the muffin itself is strawberry flavored or something..which it's not.
    *I...never need more than a cup of buttermilk, so I usually just make a substitution: 1 c. room-temp. milk (warmed in the microwave) + 1 tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar.  Let sit for five minutes, then use.  Smells kinda funky.

    ...okay.  I should probably go study for my midterms now.  And write that Chinese essay.  And finish that overseas study paperwork.  And...

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