You know how some moms spend one day – all day – in the kitchen preparing tons of freezer meals or doing all the prep work for the entire month in that one sitting?
That’s not me.
I don’t have the patience to spend all day cutting vegetables or browning meat or tactically placing items in my fridge or freezer in order to maximize storage space.
And if I let my kids be their own rulers for the day, my house may explode.
Instead of doing a full-fledged cooking marathon every few months, I’m more of a 5k girl. My cooking batches are shorter, they happen whenever I want them to and only if my kitchen can handle the goods (meaning there’s room in my apartment-sized fridge).
For example: homemade bread. You guys know I’m a huge fan of the stuff. Fresh out of the oven and you’ll have to pry the butter out of my hands.
But sometimes I just don’t feel like making it. My “job” started five years ago and hasn’t stopped since. You can call me lazy, but I call it a lunch break. 😉
So when I am in the mood to make bread, I make a double batch. This way my family still eats, but I’m not pulling overtime.
This is also immensely handy when we have spaghetti on Wednesdays!
After testing more than a few batches, I have a new go-to recipe for dinner rolls. They’re ready in 90 minutes start to finish (so this time includes the rise time). The basic recipe can be changed to suit whatever flavor dinner is. And they freeze beautifully.
Make them whenever you have time. This could be a weekend you spend a cool, rainy day watching movies inside. Maybe a lazy Saturday morning. Maybe during naptime one day. If you plan strategically, you can have all of your freshly baked bread for the month done in under two hours.
Ninety minutes sounds like a lot, but is it really? There’s really only 15 minutes of active work (and that’s if you work slow). Just start the recipe, set the timer, and go do other stuff. Come back when the timer beeps. It really is that easy.
Oh, and you know these are cheaper than store-bought, right? And you’re gonna want some bread to soak up that delicious gravy on Thanksgiving, right?
Hint, hint… wink, wink… nudge, nudge… 😉
- 1½ tsp yeast
- ¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp warm water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2¼ cup bread flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- Combine yeast and water in a bowl and allow to bloom.
- Add remaining ingredients and knead (by hand or using a mixer) until all of the little pieces of dough have been picked up from the sides of the bowl, plus three minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for one hour.
- Pour out dough onto a lightly flour surface. Roll dough into a log shape and cut dough into eight equal pieces.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Using your hands, form each piece into a round and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Cover the dough with a towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Bake rolls or 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Want a roll with more pizazz? Try one of these variations. No matter which you pick, they’re all good with butter.
- Garlic & Basil – add 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of dried basil to the dough
- Cheddar – add 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the dough before mixing, or fold 1/2 Tbsp of cheese to each ball of dough as you’re shaping into rounds.
- Rosemary & Parmesan – add 1 tsp dried rosemary to the dough and sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan to the top of each round just before baking
- Sweet – add 1 Tbsp honey to the dough
- Jalapeño Cheddar – before baking, top each round with 1-2 slices of fresh jalapeño pepper and 1/2 Tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese