It’s been raw weather all across the country. (Welcome to my world.) My cousins are snowed and iced in out in New England. Last night inspiration sent me to the trusted The Fannie Farmer Cookbook for something with yeast in the recipe. I am not an experienced baker. The last month I have been reading about bread making in books like The Tassajara Bread Book and watching You Tube videos of how to make sour dough bread. Sour dough bread is a multi-day fascinating process that has been put on the back shelf for a more ambitious mood. Feather Rolls seemed more accessible last evening. There really was a Fanny Farmer.
The recipe is from page 474 of the 1980 edition of Fanny Farmer’s Cookbook.
“Feather Rolls, as their name indicates, are high and very light.” This was intriguing to me, and the fact that I could make a small quantity was the deciding factor for choosing this recipe.
1 Package of dry yeast
4 Tablespoons of soft butter (I used olive oil)
1 Tablespoon sugar
¾ Tablespoon of salt
¾ cup (1¾ dl) warm milk
2 (280g) cups of flour
Stir the yeast into ¼ cup warm water and let stand for 5 minutes to dissolve. Mix the butter, sugar, salt, egg milk and dissolved yeast in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add the flour and beat vigorously until well blended. [ 2013 Update – work the dough for five minutes to make it smooth and elastic.] Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour. Stir down and fill buttered muffin tins half full. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400˚ (205˚C). Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes.
NOTES: This is not a lot of work. The yeast does the work for you. They are light and have a soft inside and slightly crisp outside. I am sure they would be richer tasting made with butter. The recipe makes one tin of rolls. These rolls are definitely something to serve with a stew or a meaty meal or, as in my case, an excuse to gently ease into bread making and while away a cold winter evening in February.
Let’s hope that Groundhog was right!
Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the Rabbit.