When I first started this blog I was very inexperienced with anything and everything that involved cooking and especially baking (as you can probably tell from the simplicity of some of the recipes). I dabbled here and there with my beginner dinners and easy treats, but was always skeptical to make anything that involved dough. Over the last couple years that I haven’t been entering anything into this blog, I have branched out. And I am so happy that I did. To me, there is nothing better than a meal that is completely built from the ground up. Every single part should be special, homemade and a perfect match to each of its separate parts. This recipe was inspired by just that.

Having never made anything with yeast in it before, making bread always seemed a daunting task. How will I know the right temperature? How will I know when it’s done rising? How will I know if the yeast is even still good? All of these thoughts rushed through my brain. But finally, one night when I had prepared pulled pork for sandwiches (will  be doing this recipe later – it is yumazing!) I knew that I could make them even better by making my own sandwich rolls. So I took the plunge and told myself that everything would be okay -ha! And don’t you know, it was. These turned out so delicious and were so easy, that even I was able to make them. The next greatest part is that they only take about 60 minutes.

This recipe is adapted from one I found at http://www.wiveswithknives.net – love the blog name.

Here’s what you need:

1 c. milk (I used Vitamin D – it’s what we had)
½ c. water
1 Tbsp. honey
¼ c. (one stick) butter
1 egg
4½ c. flour (I use unbleached flour)
1 package instant yeast
1½ tsp. salt
1 beaten egg yolk
Poppy seeds
First, mix the milk, water, honey and butter until the butter is melted. (Recipe on their blog calls for 120F – this is a little bit cooler than your typical IMG_2995Starbucks drink, so I juts gauged it by feel since I didn’t have a thermometer). Carefully whisk in the egg. Mix together 2 cups of flour, the yeast, and salt and combine with the milk mixture. Once mixed, stir in the remaining flour ½ cup at a time. Once the mixture starts to feel like dough (it will lump together in a soft ball) take it out of the bowl and onto a floured surface – I like to use my cutting board for easier clean up. Knead the dough until it is smooth – think comfy kitty, haha – you will also want the dough to be elastic but not sticky. How I test this is grabbing the dough by one end and letting the other end drop down to the cutting board. If the bottom portion breaks off, keep kneading. If it does somewhat of a rubber band motion stretching itself back to the board, it’s good to go.  Now divide into equal parts. This will depend on how big you want your rolls. I made mine a bit smaller and got about 11 rolls out of a batch. Roll the parts into smooth balls and slightly flatten the tops – place onto baking sheet.
Cover the rolls with either plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes – or until they have doubled in size. Once they have risen, use the beaten egg yolk to brush over the tops and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
These come out so pretty! They went great with the pulled pork, but not only that we used the leftover rolls for tuna and deli meat sandwiches which were absolutely delicious.
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