Written on December 4, 2012 at 8:30 am , by Delish Dish Editor
Seasons greetings, everyone! Jessica Christensen, senior editor with Better Homes and Gardens special interest titles here to welcome you to December—the busiest baking time of the year. I love baking during the holidays (and any time, really) but with my 9-month-old son demanding the majority of my time this year, my baking is going to be more structured and organized—as in make-ahead everything!
Which leads me to last weekend. When my son’s nap time rolled around, I set to work on a batch of rolls to freeze for Christmas dinner. My choice: Feather Rolls, a time-tested recipe from our BH&G archives. Like the name implies, these rolls are soft, tender, and light as a feather (thanks to the secret ingredient of mashed potato!).
However, since I don’t eat dairy products (long story), I had to find a substitute for the butter. My solution to that problem: Earth Balance margarine, the best non-dairy, high-fat margarine on the market for baking. It contains 100 calories per tablespoon, just like butter, so it behaves in much the same way. It’s also free of hydrogenated oils, which is not true of most margarines.The dough came together beautifully—made from flour, sugar, margarine, mashed potato, water, salt, and yeast. Once the ingredients were mixed together, it was a simple matter of kneading the dough until it formed a smooth ball.
Now here’s a big perk of the Feather Rolls recipe—the dough can rise in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. So when I got completely distracted for the rest of the day playing an endless game of peekaboo, it was no big deal. The next day I turned the dough out, cut it into 16 pieces (the recipes says 15 pieces, but it’s much easier to get equal sizes from an even number of bread pieces), formed each piece into a rough ball, and placed the pieces in a 13×9 pan to rise for 40 minutes. The awkward 16th piece of dough had to squeeze in on one end of the pan, but I’m OK with that. Then it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to hot and yeasty baked rolls.
Once the rolls were cool, I wrapped them up in a layer each of plastic wrap and foil, and then placed them in a larger baking dish with a tight fitting lid. Then off to the freezer they went, where they will stay until the big holiday festivities later this month. I plan to pull them out of the freezer the morning of the feast to thaw and then bake them for about 10 minutes at 350°F to warm them up.
Then, because I was “on a roll” I decided to make up a double batch of Mini Focaccia. I used half of it to make a large focaccia round, and then split the other half of the dough up to make mini focaccia. I topped it with fresh rosemary (from a summer plant I brought inside that is now struggling to survive in my window). I learned long ago that this recipe needs to either be eaten immediately or frozen to keep it from getting tough and dried out. Fresh bread doesn’t last nearly as long as store-bought. So after it was baked off to the freezer it went.
Three cheers for planning ahead! What baked goodies are you going to prep and freeze for the holidays this year?
Categories: Delish Dish, In the Test Kitchen | Tags: baked, bread, christmas, classic dinner rolls, dairy-free, December, dinner rolls, dough, Earth Balance margarine, Feather Rolls, flaky, flour, focaccia, freeze, freezer, garlic, herbs, Holiday, homemade, Italian, make-ahead, margarine, non-dairy, potato, potluck, rosemary, Side Dish, sugar, tender, vegan, vegetarian, yeast, yeast bread
Written on November 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm , by Delish Dish Editor
Happy Thanksgiving! Erin from The Forest Feast here, sending greetings from my family’s annual celebration in Santa Barbara, CA. My husband Jonathan and I left the woods and headed for the beach where we’re spending the weekend cooking, eating, and surfing with lots of relatives at my aunt and uncle’s beach house. This is my absolute favorite holiday! We spend all day cooking in their dreamy kitchen overlooking the ocean while the turkey cooks on the BBQ outside.
This year, we are shaking up the menu a bit with this New Cranberry Sauce, which includes persimmons, my favorite autumn treat. Trees full of these ripe, orange fruits are everywhere near where we live right now! A friend was kind enough to let me come and pick some off his tree, and I was excited to be able to use them in this Thanksgiving dish. It’s a fun, seasonal twist on the traditional recipe and adds color and sweetness to the cranberry sauce.
We eat around sunset, and I always take a picture of the turkey as it comes off the grill.
So much to be thankful for as we gear up for a weekend of family fun. Cheers!
Makes: 12 servings. Serving size: 1/4 cup. Yield: 12 (1/4-cup) servings
Prep 10 mins, cook 18 mins to 20 mins, chill up to 48 hours.
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
1 12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup pomegranate juice or cranberry juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 fuyu persimmon or apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Rosemary sprig (optional, as garnish)
Directions: In large saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add cranberries, pomegranate juice, sugar, and ginger. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 16 to 17 minutes, or until mixture is just thickened. Stir in persimmon for the last 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve warm or at room temperature or transfer to a storage container. Can be covered and chilled up to 48 hours. If desired, top sauce with a rosemary sprig as a garnish. Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings.
Kitchen Tip: There are two types of persimmons: Fuyus and hachiyas. For this recipe, use fuyus, which are tomato-shape, and can be eaten when firm or slightly soft. The fruit, available from October to December, should be evenly light orange, not yellow or green. Store in the fridge up to 14 days.
The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, vegetable based recipes that are presented visually, with handwriting, illustration and photos to describe the steps.
Categories: Delish Dish, In-Season Eats | Tags: autumn, christmas, Cranberry, cranberry sauce, fall, fruit, garlic, Holiday, onion, persimmon, seasonal, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, vegetable, vegetarian