I don’t suppose it’s meant to be a compliment, but I have to admit, I take a bit of pride in what they sometimes often call me – a “baby hog”! Not very proper or dignified or anything like that, but you see, I LOVE babies. And okay, they’re right; sometimes I do get a little possessive about them.
I’ve treasured every minute of being a mom, but there’s something fantastically special to me about that first year of life – the velvety smooth skin, soft, peach-fussy hair, the sweet unique fragrance (most of the time), the heartwarming first smiles, hesitant, but proud initial steps, delightful first words – all of it!
And now I’m getting to experience it all over again. Scott and I are expecting grandchild number five, due TOMORROW! Our son, Nick and his wife Lindsay are all set for the new arrival and since our first four grand kiddies live thousands of miles away in London, England, we’re super thrilled that this little one will be just “a hop, skip and a jump” away.” “Papa Scott” and I (“Grammy”) can hardly wait, and every time the phone rings or a text message appears, our hearts beat a little faster.
I’ve been trying to get ready by stocking the freezer with some soups, chilies and curries to get us through the busy weeks ahead. I also made a double batch of these Buttermilk Dinner Rolls and stashed them in the freezer. A bowl of soup, a simple salad and a basket of warm rolls is a fabulous busy-day dinner, and a wonderful combo to express a bit of love and cheer to a new mom, a recently moved-in neighbor, a shut-in or a friend in need.
The rolls are billowy soft and slightly sweet with a touch of buttermilk tanginess. The egg wash transforms the exterior to a shiny golden delight, after a stint in the hot oven. Scatter the rolls with a shower of sesame or poppy seeds before baking or leave them plain, but beautifully unadorned. Whip up a batch; you’ll totally see what I mean when I say that the only problem with these Buttermilk Dinner Rolls is that it’s impossible to eat just one!
P.S. If you decide to surprise a new mom with a basket of these yummy rolls, please don’t get greedy when she offers to let you hold that tiny, sweet baby. After all, “Baby Hog” is my moniker!
Oh, and perhaps, just perhaps, the next time you hear from me, I’ll be practicing and perfecting the baby hog role. 🙂
- ¾ cup warm water 110°F. to 115°F, use a thermometer if you're not used to working with yeast, they're inexpensive and will ensure success.
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4-oz. pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- ½ cup room temperature buttermilk
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 ½ to 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- poppy seeds and/or sesame seeds
- Place water and the sugar in a medium bowl; stir in yeast and let sit in a warm spot for about 10 minutes or until yeast is dissolved and foamy. (To create a nice warm spot for yeast to grow in the cooler months, I'll boil a cup of water in the microwave for several minutes, then set the water over in a corner and place my bowl with the yeast mixture in the center. I close the door and it's perfect, warm and a bit steamy.)
- Meanwhile place buttermilk, egg, butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast mixture when activated and stir to combine. With the kneading hook, slowly add 3 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix until soft dough forms, slowly adding an additional 1/4 cup flour as necessary to form soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Remove kneading hook and push dough to one side of the bowl. Add a bit of melted butter or oil and turn to coat all sides. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place (the microwave trick mentioned above works great) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Gently punch down dough; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half; cut each half into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into desired shape*; place on baking sheet.
- Cover rolls with towel. Let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (To make ahead, shape rolls, place on baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.)
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Combine egg and water and mix well. With a pastry brush, gently brush rolls all over with egg wash, being careful to thoroughly coat each roll, but don't over do so that egg mixture drips off rolls. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
- for perfectly shaped round dinner rolls, Fine Cooking has a great tutorial here. Proceed as directed above for second rise and baking.
- for the fun looking knotted dinner rolls check out this YouTube tutorial. Proceed as directed above for second rise and baking.
- for the spiral, muffin type rolls, roll the dough into a large rectangle, spread with two tablespoons of butter and roll up, jelly roll fashion. Pinch the edge to seal, then cut into 16 equal pieces. Grease 16 muffin pan cups with butter and place a roll in each cup. Proceed as directed above for second rise and baking.