I know what you’re thinking, “That dusty old Bread Machine, sitting in a lone corner of my kitchen, can only make mushroom shaped, doughy bread loaves with a hole in the center.” Well I’ve got great news for you… you can make just about any kind of bread in the bread machine.
The Boyfriend got me the most amazing bread book for Christmas, Bread Illustrated: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Bakery-Quality Results At Home, and so far I have! But I’m pretty lazy, so I skip most of the pages and just adapt it to put into my Bread Machine. So far, so good! This recipe turns out perfect every time. So I’m going to let the Bread Machine do all the hard work, making and proofing the dough. And I’m going to do the easy work, looking busy and taking all the credit.
First things first – get all your ingredients together. Dump the ingredients in you bread machine per your manufacture’s instructions. Mine is wet, dry, and then yeast. I will typically put the sugar and salt in before the flour. I’m convinced that it helps it distribute evenly, but I have no facts to support this claim. But it’s what I do.
Turn your Bread Machine on it’s dough setting. Clean up your mess, and then come back and have a look at it. It should be in full knead at this time. You want your dough to pull away from the sides and make a nice doughy ball. You know, like how dough looks? I usually will help this process along by scraping down the sides of the pan with a silicon spatula.
If the bread machine is still working stuff in and doesn’t look right, don’t panic. Give it a sec. If it’s making a slappy wet noise or sticking too much to the sides, lightly sprinkle some flour in there. If it’s all crumbly and not together, just sprinkle a little water over it. Do either of these sparingly, we’re talking quarters of teaspoons. So let the dough catch up for a minute before you start throwing stuff in like a mad man.
There – it’s perfect. Now I have an hour and half to kill. Making bread is a lot of work… wine anyone?
Once your bread machine is done with the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Then take the halves and divide it again and then again. You should have 8 doughy portions at this point.
Pull and shape a dough ball into a 6 – 7 inch by 4 inch rectangle. Starting on the top long end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
This is the most work you will put into this and trust me, you last 4 will look way better than your first 4. But here’s the trick I use, roll a piece over and sort of pinch it into the under dough. Roll and pinch, roll and pinch, and so forth until you have nice tight cylinder.
Tuck the ends under and pinch it into the dough. Now, give it a good roll and make sure that under seam is well secured – give it another pinch if you need to. Who doesn’t like a good pinch on the bottom now and then?? 😉
Put your roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you’ll need two of these). Pinch and roll the rest of the dough. Now cover the rolls with a tea towel or some greased plastic wrap. Let them rise for about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350, adjust your oven racks to the upper and lower middle racks. More wine anyone?
Once they are done rising – and you’ll know they’re because they’ll look fluffy and spring back at a light touch.
Take a pairing knife and swiftly cut a 1/4 inch slit down the center of each roll. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect – everyone will still be super impressed.
Toss them in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Once they’re done, place them on a wire cooling rack.
Put the ham and mayo down! These need to cool for about an hour and then you can dive in. Make sure to store them in some big zippered storage bags as soon as they are done cooling to keep them super fresh. Enjoy! In fact, use them to make Slow Cooker Pork French Dip Sandwiches!
- 2 cups water, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 4 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 5 cups King Arthur 100% Organic Bread Flour
- 4 tsp of Red Star Active Dry Yeast
- Put ingredients in to your bread machine per the manufacturer's instructions (mine is wet, dry, yeast).
- Once the dough is done, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide dough in half, and then half again, and then half again until you have 8 similar size balls of dough.
- Stretch and mold the dough balls, one at a time, into rectangle. About 6 - 7 inches wide and 4 inches high.
- Tightly roll, and pinch, roll, and pinch the dough into a cylinder. It's important to roll it tightly, otherwise you get crazy looking rolls with one side higher than the other.
- Tuck the ends in and make sure the seams are tight, then give it a roll a couple of times to make sure that under seam is super tight.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do this with the remaining rolls.
- Once your rolls are laid out, cover loosely them with a tea towel or greased plastic wrap. Let them rise for about 45 minutes.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees and place your oven racks in the upper and lower middle of the oven.
- Once your oven is preheated, take a pairing knife and gently (yet quickly) pull a 1/4 inch slit down the center of each roll.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before serving, about an 1 hour.
- Once these have cooled, store them in sealed ziplock bags for freshness.