Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Nap Report

Best sleeping friends in the whole world.
Thanksgiving!  Eating too much!  Falling asleep!  Do you have your napping buddy picked out?

I'm planning on making a No Turkey-Turkey from a recipe from Vegetarian Times from like 1990-something.  This is my favorite fancy Thanksgiving recipe of all time: it's basically seitan or baked tofu dipped in gravy and then mounded up in a baking dish, covered with a heap of stuffing, and then topped off with puff pastry and baked until golden.  Serve with extra gravy, of course!  It's delicious, and you can cut out little fiddly decorations of puff pastry to stick around your masterpiece and satisfy your inner Martha Stewart.  I promise I'll take a picture (maybe even with my good camera and not my phone!) to taunt you with later.

Planning ahead for Thanksgiving, I offer you this quick-yet-delicious recipe for soft and yeasty dinner rolls.  This is adapted from a recipe that appeared in our local paper - again, back in the 90's.  Apparently I was paying attention to recipes back then.  In any case, this has become a staple around our house and I'm often expected to bring these babies to school, work and family functions.  And I do, because they are so easy to whomp up.  I hope you enjoy!

adapted from an original recipe by Miss Eugenie Bell

3 Tbsp instant yeast (YES, 3 TABLESPOONS.  You can cut this back to 2 Tablespoons if you want.  The rolls just won't be as yeasty)
2 Tbsp shortening or Earth Balance (coconut oil is nice, too)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 and 1/2 cups your favorite non-dairy milk, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop until lukewarm
1/4 cup warm water mixed with 1 heaping Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour (for the batch picture above, I used 3 cups unbleached A.P + 1 cup whole wheat.  Whatever floats your boat!)

Mix your flax egg up in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, shortening, and milk until well combined.  Try and break the shortening into smallish chunks (some of which might melt.  That's okay!).  Stir in your flax egg.  Use a wooden spoon and stir in the flour and salt.  You may need to get in there with your hands and really mix it up.  This tends to be  sticky dough - that's okay! You can add a little flour if you think it's too sticky, but you want it to be a little soft and sticky.  Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes.  Hopefully if everything goes according to plan, the super yeasty dough should rise up quite a bit during that time.  Take your wooden spoon and push it down as best you can and then cover it and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Start pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease two round 8 or 9 inch metal cake pans.  When the dough is done with its second rising, turn it out onto a well floured board and cut it into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and arrange in your greased pans.  Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Put in the oven and bake for, you guessed it, about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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