Rocket Rolls My Way

I recently applied to become a member of Project Pastry Queen, a group of bakers where one of the group selects a recipe from The Pastry Queen (an awesome cookbook BTW, check it out), the members make it, then blog about the results.  This week's challenge of Rocket Rolls, since they are described as "challah-like," looked like something right up my alley.

We will ignore the fact that "this week" turned out to be last week's project.  Because I just finished making the rolls.  And because there is no trophy or cash prize, only posting rights about making the recipe.  No problem ... something I can handle.  Maybe ...

Originally these rolls were called Torpedo Rolls, due to their somewhat torpedo-ish shape.  The current name came about when someone in the bakery asked about the rolls but couldn't remember thecorrect name,  asking about "rocket rolls" instead.

Here is the original rocket roll recipe.   It calls for over 6 cups of flour.  Unfortunately, my old Kitchenaid absolutely cannot handle more than 5 cups.  A grain over 5, and the dough literally climbs up the dough hook in an effort to escape.  Halving the recipe required more math and partial ingredients than I could handle (1 1/2 pkgs. yeast?  One half plus one-sixth cup of water?  Meh! (adults:  teen-speak for feh!)

So I went with the quantities from my own recipe and continued onward. 

PPQ's directions yielded me 17 small rolls that were denser than the batch I made over Thanksgiving.  Most likely due to a shorter rise and no second one.  But as dinner rolls they were still GREAT!  I could proudly serve them to company with no shame.

But family as usual is different.  They knew my secret.  And boy were they not happy.  The rolls weren't as light and fluffy as the normal challah double-rise distant cousin.  Next time I make torpedo rolls (and I WILL make them again because they are still awesome) I will simply serve them as dinner rolls.  Without shame.  No mention of their distant cousin.

Torpedo Rolls
adapted from The Pastry Queen  (click here to see PPQ's list of ingredients, here to see mine)

The photos are brought to you in part by my cell phone (the more than usual out-of-focus ones) and by youngerSon.

Mix together the warm water, white sugar and yeast.  Let six for 5 or so minutes to "proof" (cook-speak for letting the yeast go to town on the sugar and create a bubbly brew).  While waiting those excruciating 5 whole minutes, dump most of the flour along with the salt into large mixing bowl.   Then add bubbly brew.  Mix on low to combine.

Tip alert -- if you are going to measure honey, honey, first pour oil into a measuring cup.  Add the oil to the dough, then pour honey into the dirty cup.  The honey will easily and quickly slide right out.  Mix it both in.

Now beat in an egg at low speed.

Add remaining flour, about a half cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (might take a minute or two between each addition).  Then continue running the mixer at low for another 8 minutes.  Meanwhile oil up another mixing bowl.

At the end of the 8 minutes, remove the dough, slap it around just until it's nicely round-ish, then place in the prepared bowl.  Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot for around 1 1/2 hours.  In the meantime, lay parchment on a couple of baking sheets (do not obsess if the parchment tears unevenly, the rolls won't mind), then go have a nice cup of tea.  Put your feet up.  Rest a few minutes.  With all you do for your family, they should be making the rolls, not you!

See that decrepid piece of paper under my left arm?  That's my challah recipe from a couple of decades ago.  I really should clean off the counter when getting my hands photographed.  Now oil hands.  Some people prefer to flour their hands.  But I'm of the oil persuasion.  Plus my hands become nice and soft afterwards.  But I digress ... now, where was I? Oh, right ... pull off a small piece of dough, about the size of a golf ball.

Forgot to remind youngerSon not to leave the flash on auto, so in some of the shots the flash didn't go off.  But at least his shots are in  focus.  Here's how to get perfectly smooth rolls.  I showed how to do this before, but a replay, for those visiting my site for the first time.  It's based on how pizza dough is handled.  Round the dough around a little between your palms.

Grab the sides of the dough ball ...

... pull those suckers around to the bottom ...

... then pinch corners together on the bottom.

Since the shape is supposed to be slightly elongated to match its name, I pulled dough out a little before placing it on the prepared baking sheets.

I think this ball is almost smiling at me.

Arrange dough balls a few inches from each other.  The angle of this photo makes them look like they are 3 miles apart, but they are really only a couple of inches.  Now cover and let them rise for about 20 minutes.  Go preheat the oven to 350F.

After the 20 minutes, they will puff up a bit and magically lose their rocket shape, becoming round.    Do not panic!  Their flavor is in no way affected by their misshapen shape!

You can bake them at this point, but I like 'em shiny.   So mix an egg yolk with a tablespoon of water.  Gently (so that they don't deflate), brush the tops of the rolls, with the egg wash.

Place baking sheets in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a lovely golden brown.

OlderSon just couldn't wait for the rolls to cool and took a bite.  Don't worry ... no lasting damage.  The rolls was still delicious ;) .

Place rolls on a cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a little butter, margarine or jam.  


Shawnda said…
Welcome to the group! I made a full batch for Christmas dinner and there was only one left!
dena said…
Glad you enjoyed them!

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