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DrBBQ - Mrs Bassos Light Rolls

Charcoal MikeCharcoal Mike Posts: 223
edited 9:09PM in EggHead Forum
I got a copy of Dr BBQ's Big-Time BBQ Cookbook this week, and the first thing we tried was the recipe called Mrs. Basso's Light Rolls (Ray Basso's mother's recipe). If you aren't familiar with the recipe, here is a link:
http://www.rbjb.com/rbjb/mother.htm[p]We tried them last night, as a test run for Thanksgiving - with not so great results. We never could get the dough to rise, and they turned out very doughy and not the least bit fluffy. My wife might not have gotten the mixture to the correct temperature (I showed her the thermapen afterwards), or perhaps we used the wrong flour. The recipe just calls for "3 cups flour", but doesn't specify self-rising or all-purpose (which we used).[p]Anyone know the correct type of flour, or perhaps anywhere else we might have made a mistake? Neither of us are bakers by any stretch, so what might be obvious pointers would be greatly appreciated.[p]Happy Holidays to All![p]- Mike

Comments

  • BrianPBrianP Posts: 147
    Charcoal Mike,
    A few guesses:
    Did you proof your yeast prior to adding it to the flour? This would tell you if your yeast is active or dead. This can be a problem with old yeast - you need to check the expiration date on the packages as people don't buy yeast that much anymore and grocery stores will sell packages that have expired.
    Another possibility is the flour. You say you used all- purpose flour. This flour has a lower gluten content than, say, bread flour. You can usually find small bags of bread flour at the grocery store. If you look at the side of the bag where they have the content analysis, the protein (gluten) percentage will tell you how much is in the flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. Do not use self-rising flour. It contains salt and baking powder to help make bisquits and the like. It will mess your bread up and probably make it taste funny.
    Another question is how long did you work the dough to develop the gluten? The dough should be really elastic. If it isn't, likely as not you didn't develop the gluten long enough. As you knead dough, the gluten forms a web or matrix type structure that captures the CO2 gas that the yeast releases. This is what causes the bread to rise. To test this - you can take a small piece of dough and stretch it until it becomes really thin. So thin you can see through it. If you hold it up to the light you can actually see some of the web-like structure of the gluten. Bakers call this 'pulling a window'. If the dough tears as you try this and you can't get a real thin section, then you didn't knead long enough.[p]hope this helps a little.[p]BrianP

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Charcoal Mike,
    I've made the rolls, using all purpose flour, and they were delightful.[p]At a distance, I'd guess your problem stemmed from the yeast. It might be, as BrianP pointed out, out of date. More likely, you got it too hot when you dissolved it. When you're working with yeast, if you have to err, err on the cold side - yeast will dissolve and activate in water or milk that's too cool; it will only die in liquid that's too hot.[p]After reading the recipe again, I recommend letting the butter milk mixture come almost to room temperature before adding the yeast.

  • BrianPBrianP Posts: 147
    Charcoal Mike,
    OK, I read the recipe which doesn't call for any kneading. Some bakers refer to this as batter bread. It is a thick batter that doesn't require kneading. It usually doesn't have the texture that I like. The few times I tried it, the bread pretty much fell apart and you couldn't really do anything with it. [p]If it's any consolation, bread ain't easy. You have to experiment and really work at it to get a good final product. I wouldn't be disappointed at a single failure. I would just keep at it. I would also suggest perhaps finding a different recipe that calls for kneading the dough.[p]Another thing I find strange in the recipe is the instructions for proofing the yeast:[p]
    "Mix butter and 1/2 cup milk - add sugar, salt, then heat this mixture slightly (95-105 degree). Then stir in the yeast. You then need to let this mixture set for a few minutes until the yeast starts to activate. You can tell this when the yeast starts to bubble up, it takes about 10 minutes. Then put the rest of the milk in a separate container and beat the egg into this milk."[p]Usually you don't add salt to any mixture that contains yeast as salt pretty much kills yeast. You typically add the salt to the dough after the yeast has been thoroughly incorporated.[p]Just a few more comments. Bread is a religion to some folks - I've been doing it for over 20 years and it takes a lot of practice to get it right. I would keep at it. The final result is well worth the journey.[p]BrianP[p]

  • FatDogFatDog Posts: 164
    Charcoal Mike,
    I agree with some of the others who discuss the issues associated with out-of-date yeast. The little beasties will die (or get real sluggish) if not tended to properly. As for proofing, I always proof my yeast in a bit of the liquid and sweetner I am using for my bread. About 10 minutes generally shows the activity of the yeast.[p]I tend to buy my yeast in one-pound packages. I keep it in a bone dry, airtight jar in the freezer. Freezing yeast does not kill it but keeps it from going bad.[p]For flour, I use King Arthur products: bread flour and unbleached white at a ratio of about 3:2. If I want whole wheat, I use KA whole wheat flour at a ratio of about 1:2:3 to the other flours.[p]Good luck. Keep trying. As has been said, success will happen, it can simply be a bit elusive at times.

  • FatDog, BrianP and BlueSmoke,[p]Thank you very much for the replies - while the yeast is not out of date til July of 06, we think now that we might have overheated it and had the salt mixed with the yeast too early. Looks like it is also time for a trip back to the store for some bread flour and then back home for some practice.[p]Thanks again for the help, and happy holidays![p]- Mike[p]

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