Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Comfort Food

Butter rolls

DSC_2270Tuesdays come really quick for me. My blog post day, at least my target date. Why Tuesday? I don’t know. But if you know when to shoot an arrow then you could start warming up or stretch before hand right? That’s if life is perfect. Although unpredictableness is part of life’s charm yet something you never wish to have happen to you or anybody else suddenly, what will you do? Cuddle up in warm blanket and cry? That’s exactly what I did last Sunday. I could care less about the dead line.

Two of my friends came to visit me this morning and let me vent my sadness and frustration. They listened and shared their thoughts and experiences with me. They assured me that Heavenly father is watching over a friend who lost her husband last Sunday. Heavenly Father knows that we’re not perfect yet he is merciful and loves us unconditionally. Their visit gave me some peace. I’m grateful for the message which I needed greatly.

A Japanese friend agree to meet me at restaurant for lunch this afternoon. We were in a rather somber mood. We felt inadequate in that we live so far from the newly widowed friend to be helpful. My order of Thai pumpkin curry with squid was good but spicy. A guilty feeling came over me that I was enjoying the meal but I guess life is happening… I prayed that my friend is eating well and resting. 

These butter rolls were made by my husband on Thanksgiving Day. This recipe was featured on 2011 November issue of Fine Cooking magazine by Peter Reinhart.

Ingredients for 18 rolls

  • 1-1/2 cups whole mild; more as needed
  • 1 packet instant or active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil; more as needed
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lb. 7 oz. (5-1/4 cups) unbleached bread flour;more as needed
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk until lukewarm (about 95F). Remove from heat and whisk in the yeast until it dissolves.
  2. Add the oil and butter - butter may begin to melt, but it’s OK if it doesn’t melt completely.
  3. Whisk in the sugar. Let rest until the yeast just begins to float to the surface, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt and egg.
  5. Add the yeast mixture and mix on low speed until a coarse ball of dough forms, about 1 minute. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Replace the paddle attachment with dough hook and mix on medium-low speed until the dough feels soft, supple and pliable, about 3 minutes. It should feel tacky to the touch but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 Tbs.flour at a time, kneading to incorporate. If it’s stiff, knead in 1 Tbs.of milk at at time.
  7. Rub a little vegetable oil on work surface to create an 8-inch circle and put the dough on this spot. Stretch and fold dough over itself from all four sides to the center crimping it where the folded ends meet to form it into a tight round ball.
  8. Put the dough seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl that’s twice the size of the dough. Tightly cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 90 minutes. DSC_2246
  9. Divide into 18 pieces (about 2-1/4 ounces each). Roll out a piece of dough into a 12 inch long rope.DSC_2250
  10. Shape the rolls. We shaped these into a loose knot but you can do whatever you’d like.


  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 large egg
  • Poppy seed or sesame seed for garnish (optional)
  • 2 baking pans
  • Parchment paper
  1. Put parchment paper in the baking pan and spray lightly with vegetable oil spray. place the rolls in the pan with a few inches between them to allow the dough to expand. Mist the tops with oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap. DSC_2254
  2. Let the rolls continue to rise at room temperature, 20 to 40 minutes.Thoroughly whisk the egg with 1Tbs. water and brush all over each roll. Sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds on the rolls.
  3. Heat conventional oven to 400F (convection oven 375F) Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.
  4. Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the sheets 180 degrees and swap the placement on the racks. Continue to bake until rolls turn rich golden-brown on top and develop some browning underneath, another 6-8 minutes. Let the rolls cool on the sheets or on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.DSC_2273For my husband, comfort food is bread of any sort. I have different ideas but those were good rolls.

Personal note to my friend- Our prayers are with you and your family. We (オレゴン組み) love you!

It has been cold lately with lots of frost in the mornings.DSC_2393DSC_2396DSC_2404DSC_2407I planted these ornamental potatoes last summer and when I pulled them out there were more potatoes. We debated over whether they were edible or not but in the end we didn’t eat them.


  1. Friends and family does come first and I am glad you took time out. My prayers go out to your friend during this time. Losing your beloved spouse is not something that anybody should have to go through.
    Regarding your recipe, nothing beats a light fluffy roll with dinner and these look just perfectly delicious!

  2. I am sorry for your friend and I know our Father is with her. Very sad time for her but with friends like you she will be comforted even if from a long distance.
    Your blog is wonderful but don't make it feel like a job. Don't feel quilty about not doing it sometimes, as it will just make us appreciate it even more. I wish I was half the cook that you are!!

  3. That is really sad. :( I wish we could understand all of our decisions before we make them.

  4. Words of comfort elude me, as I myself often despair when thinking of life's end. I'm glad your friends were able to help you overcome your feelings of sadness. You're right, life goes on, and we can only do our best to make it worthwhile. I love your photos for this post. They're beautiful.