With extra time on my hands as of late, I have been making different kinds of bread at home to go with our meals and have loved it. What I love most about making bread is that I naturally have all the ingredients on hand, which makes buying rolls or buns or things at the store kind of silly (granted, the money can definitely be worth it when you factor in the time it sometimes takes for bread to rise).
In the spirit of sharing what's worked for me in the hopes that it could work for someone else, here are three recipes I have used often and really like!
**Note: The rolls/buns/naan are way better tasting than they look in these pictures. I just snapped these photos quickly with my iPhone in not ideal lighting. So don't let me photos deter you.
^^The one roll missing was because I couldn't wait until dinner to have one^^
These dinner rolls are delicious. I think my Grandma Raty's (and therefore the ones my mom makes) may be the world's best but these are sooo good too.
Here are my thoughts on the recipe in case anyone wants to make them:
--I follow the recipe exactly. The milk mixture needs a significant amount of time to cool though so plan in cooling time for that (If I'm short on time, I transfer the milk mixture out of the hot pot and stick it in the freezer to speed up the process).
--I usually plan on 3 1/2 hours of prep time for these so yes, they are time intensive but yet still simple to make.
--Every time I make them I end up using about 7 1/2 cups of flour and they turn out just right. (I get stressed by recipes that say to add flour so that it becomes sticky but not too sticky or other vague things like that. 7 1/2 cups has worked for me though. I think this does depend on where you live/temperature/etc. but it's been the same for me in Provo and San Jose.)
--The recipe makes 24 rolls, which is too much for us (actually 12 is way too much for the two of us too!). I cook one glass dish of 12 rolls and then freeze the other dish of 12. I followed the directions at the bottom of the recipe for how to freeze them and they turned out well. I did the method where you freeze them before they do the second rise.
--They are best eaten fresh out of the oven for sure (as evidenced in the photo above :)). We had a lot left over after dinner though so for the coming days, we would stick the roll in the microwave for 30 seconds, put some strawberry jam on them and they were pretty darn good then too.
^^Sloppy Joes may be just about the least photogenic food in the world.^^
I've made these 40 minute buns for hamburgers before and I just made them to eat with Sloppy Joes. And Aaron, lover of all things BBQ, gave these his stamp of approval.
I don't have too many thoughts on these except that they make 12 pretty small hamburger buns (the size of sliders to maybe medium buns). If you want a bigger bun then just divide the dough into 8 buns in stead of 12. I love these because they really just take 40 minutes to make, start to finish, and they taste way better than store bought.
Aaron and I love Indian food. We've been making this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe a lot this last year, which is super easy. So easy that maybe people from India may scoff at it but we think it tastes seriously good and rivals Chicken Tikka Masala that we've had in restaurants. (If you make that recipe, I always half the red pepper and jalapeño because it was just too darn spicy for us.) Anyways, making naan with that meal just makes it that much better.
My thoughts on the naan recipe:
--Follow the tip at the bottom and roll out each ball of dough right before you cook it. It also does work best to use a heavy bottom skillet. These two things will help you get even, golden-brown spots throughout the whole piece of naan.
--We spread each with butter, garlic salt and cilantro after taking it off the skillet. I'm sure there are way more advanced varieties of spices you could add to this but we've kept it simple so far because it's just easier.
--They are pretty dense so we usually just eat one each. If you are just making this for two people then I would definitely half it (although you have to get tricky with beating up the one egg that the original recipe calls for and then halfing it).
The naan is Aaron's domain. I prep it and get it rising but he is usually in charge of rolling out the dough, cooking and seasoning these while I finish up the rest of the meal and he is quite the pro at it. I always like it when we are both preparing food in the kitchen.
Another good recipe is this one for Rosemary Focaccia Loaves (just like Macaroni Grill's!). I haven't made it in a while but I want to soon :)
I'm not a major cook but these recipes are all do-able and delicious. Give them a shot if you so desire.