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These soft, golden pan rolls, with the distinctive sweetness of whole-germ cornmeal, are a treat hot out of the oven. Serve them at lunch or dinner with the accompanying chili-cheese butter; or, for a very distinctive breakfast treat, with butter and hot pepper jelly alongside scrambled eggs or a Western omelet.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant
1/2 cup (4 ounces) lukewarm (110°F) water
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) buttermilk
1 cup (4 7/8 ounces) whole cornmeal
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter or margarine, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
6 cups (1 pound, 9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
additional melted butter or margarine (about 6 tablespoons)
additional cumin powder
Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water, and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk and buttermilk until barely warm. When yeast is foamy, add milk/buttermilk, cornmeal, sugar, butter or margarine, eggs, salt, cumin powder and 2 cups of flour. Beat until well blended. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough, suitable for kneading.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to coat all sides, and cover. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Punch dough down and divide into two pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread each rectangle with some of the melted butter or margarine (leaving about half to spread on rolls before baking), and sprinkle lightly with cumin powder. Roll up, starting with the long end, and pinch edges to seal. Cut each roll into 12 buns. Place buns in two deep-dish 12-inch pizza pans, or two 9 x 13-inch pans, lightly greased. Spread with remaining butter or margarine, and sprinkle lightly with cumin. Cover buns and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Bake buns in a preheated 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 24 buns.
Green Chili-Cheese Butter
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1(4 ounce) can chopped green chilis, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce, to taste
1 1/2 oz. (approximately) sharp cheddar cheese
Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend till smooth.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 7, July 1991 issue.