Dear cyclist riding down Castro at 5:20pm, December 4, 2017, dressed in black on a black bicycle with no lights, no reflectors, just sheer luck and a death wish – why???
I’m happy to report that I avoided committing vehicular manslaughter today by a few feet. But I’ve now added a new circle to what I like to think of as my version of Dante’s nine circles of hell. Instead of Gluttony and Heresy, my circles have names like:
Drivers Who Signal That They Want to Merge for Over Two Miles But Never Merge Even When You Give Them Plenty of Room to Do So Then When You’re Finally Fed Up with Waiting for Them and Speed Up to Pass They Make a Sudden Swerve Into Your Lane
Drivers Who Drive 60 MPH in the Left Lane and Won’t Speed Up Until the Very Moment You Attempt to Illegally Pass Them on the Right Because No One Ever Taught Them That Slow Drivers Drive in the RIGHT Lane
Drivers Who Insist on Leaving Five Car Lengths Between Themselves and the Car in Front of Them Even Though It’s 7:46 AM and Everyone is Traveling at 32 MPH Because Bay Area Traffic is Getting Worse and Worse and Really Lady We’re All Going So Slow You Can Drive Four Inches Behind That Car Half a Mile Ahead of You and You’ll Be Okay Really the Brakes On Your Shiny BMW SUV Work
Claire’s Nine Circles of Commute-Induced Petty Hell. It’s a work in progress.
I found these scrumptious dinner rolls in Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving 2017 issue and immediately decided that I had to make them. I built my entire Friendsgiving menu around these dinner rolls. No regrets. These dinner rolls are worth it. They’re delicious scalding hot straight out of the oven, eaten warm as a side with dinner, and toasted and sandwiched with cheesy green onion soft scrambled eggs topped with a few shakes of hot sauce and a couple slices of avocado for breakfast.
Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls
Adapted from Bon Appetit
10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1 tbsp size pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or finely minced
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tbsp plus 2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp flaky sea salt
- Place 5 tbsp of the unsalted butter in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the remaining 5 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, swirling often until the butter foams and turns golden brown (you are essentially making brown butter), about 5 minutes. Do not leave the butter unattended – it can go from brown to black in a matter of seconds. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the garlic and scrape the melted butter and garlic mixture from the pan into the bowl with the other 5 tbsp of butter. Set aside the pan to use again later. Stir the bowl of butter until all the butter is melted and the butter mixture is smooth. Set aside until the butter re-solidifies, 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk 1/4 cup of the milk, 3 tbsp bread flour, and 1/4 cup water in the reserved pan, then cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it becomes a very stiff paste resembling gluey mashed potatoes, about 2 minutes (you are making tangzhong, a water roux that makes bread light and fluffy). Scrape the tangzhong into the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside the pan to use again later.
- Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of milk into the reserved pan and heat briefly over low heat – it should be just warm to the touch but not hot. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 minute or longer, if you’ve heated it too much. If your milk is too hot, your yeast will die.
- Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar to the warm milk and stir to combine. Let mixture sit until foamy while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. If the mixture does not foam or bubble, either your yeast was dead to begin with or you killed your yeast with hot milk. If this is the case, repeat steps 4-5 with fresh yeast or cooler milk.
- Brush the bottom and sides of a 13×9″ baking dish with 2 tbsp of the garlic butter, then set the rest of the garlic butter aside.
- Add the yeast and milk mixture, sugar, 1 egg, and 2 1/4 cups bread flour to the mixer bowl with the tangzhong. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until a rough dough forms.
- Add the kosher salt and increase the speed to medium, mixing until you have a smooth dough, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low again and add all but 2 tbsp of the remaining garlic butter a tablespoonful at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding more. Once the garlic butter has been added, increase the mixer speed back to medium and mix the dough until very soft, smooth, and supple, 8-10 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, form the dough into a ball, and place into the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
- After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough and knead several times to deflate. Turn onto a clean work surface.
- Weigh the dough on a food scale, then divide into 15 equal pieces. Each piece should be between 1.5-1.8 oz each, depending on the total weight of your dough.
- Working one at a time and keeping the other dough pieces covered in plastic, shape the dough into a ball by using your thumbs to pull down the sides of the dough piece, tucking the dough underneath, and pinching the edges to seal. Turn the dough piece 90˚ (keeping the seam always at the bottom), pull, tuck, and pinch again. Repeat this process 3-4 times until you have created a smooth sphere with no seams except at the bottom.
- Next, place the dough ball on your work surface and rest the side of your hand next to it so your palm and fingers are cupped around it. Drag the ball toward you, using friction against the work surface to create tension and stretch the surface of the dough into a smooth, taut dome.
- Repeat steps 13-14 with each piece of dough, then place in the buttered 13×9″ pan in a 5×3 grid, spacing each dough ball evenly apart.
- Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm spot until the rolls are doubled in size and touching each other, 35-45 minutes.
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375˚F.
- Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl until yolks and whites are thoroughly incorporated and no streaks remain. Gently brush the tops of the rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt.
- Bake the rolls until they are a deep golden brown, 25 minutes or so. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush immediately with the remaining 2 tbsp of garlic butter. Microwave the butter for 20-30 seconds beforehand to soften if needed. Let the rolls cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Place another wire rack over the pan and turn the rolls out onto the rack. Place the first wire rack over the bottom of the rolls and invert again to turn them right side up. Let cool another 10-15 minutes before serving warm.