Monday, November 20, 2006

Turkey Tail Rolls

These are a sympton of my inner desire for cutesiness, which comes out every once in a while. It's from the same urge that had me folding the napkins for Easter into little bunny rabbits. I just thought they looked so cute! Little turkey tails. Who doesn't love food shaped like animals? My grandmother used to make crescent rolls for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Not from scratch, but from the wonderful round can you buy at the grocery store, that went pop! when you twisted it open. I could down three of those little rolls in one sitting. But I'm not making crescent rolls- crescent rolls are the back-up plan for my turkey tail rolls not making it up to Tahoe. Because of the altitude, I'm baking these rolls here, freezing them, then thawing and heating them up in the mountains. I'll let you know how it went. I plan on testing one before we go. This is a delightful Martha Stewart recipe.

Turkey Tail Rolls

14 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for bowl and tin
1 1/4 cup warm milk (about 110°)
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3 Tbs. sugar
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Butter a large bowl and a 12-cup standard muffin tin; set aside. Stir together 1/2 cup milk and the yeast in a bowl. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.
Bring remaining 3/4 cup milk to a simmer in a medium pan. Remove from heat. Add 6 tablespoons butter, the sugar, and salt; stir until butter melts. Set aside.
Put 4 1/2 cups flour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Make a well in the center, and pour in yeast mixture, butter mixture, and the eggs. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the dough hook; mix on low speed until dough just comes together, about 2 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding remaining cup flour as needed. Transfer to buttered bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down dough; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half; cover half with a towel. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining half to 1/4 inch thick. Cut to 12 by 9 1/2 inches, discarding scraps. Position short side of dough parallel to counter's edge. Cut crosswise into six 2-inch strips. Cut strips crosswise into 3 1/2-inch, 3 1/4-inch, and 2 3/4-inch pieces.
Preheat oven to 375°. Melt remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Brush all pieces of dough with melted butter; reserve some for brushing tops. Center and stack pieces from each strip, largest to smallest (you will have 6 stacks). Fold each stack in half lengthwise; fit, folded edge down, into a prepared muffin cup, making a V. Cover with a towel; let rise in a warm, draft-free place 30 minutes. Repeat process with remaining dough.
Brush melted butter over top of each roll. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with more melted butter; serve hot or at room temperature.

The recipe was really quite easy, but I found that I had a lot of dough leftover. I froze the rolls the day I baked them, then defrosted and heated 1 the next day. It was delicious- nice and buttery and light. By the time they got up to the lake, they weren't so great. They were a little heavy, and needed a pat or two of butter. Abbie enjoyed them immensely, and ate nothing but the rolls and a little turkey at dinner. I do need to say this though- we didn't need to throw any away.

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