No Fast Food Challenge Day #4 - Our Daily Green

Thursday, January 31, 2013

No Fast Food Challenge Day #4

I love working with yeast dough. My grandmother taught me how to make bread as a child. I embraced it so heartily that she gave me a mixer with a dough hook as a wedding gift. 22 years + later, not just I, but also my children press it into service. We've shared our simple dough recipe here as well as on a guest post. Filling homemade dough rolled with sandwich fillings is a time saver when you're busy. We usually double our favorite pizza dough recipe which will net us 10 rolls. We fill them with broccoli, spinach, red peppers, cheese, turkey, roast beef, pepperoni, whatever strikes our fancy.

homemade pepperoni roll
photo courtesy of Wikimedia
For the purposes of this challenge, we encourage using wheat flour. Understand that wheat flour is much denser than white flour, so it's not a 1:1 ratio for substitution. For bread baking, up to one-half the flour can be switched with wheat. Also, it's very important to measure your flour without packing it down. If you have a kitchen scale, measure also by weight.

The other key to working with yeast is to accurately measure the water temperature to activate the yeast; too cold and it won't activate, too hot and it kills the yeast. An instant read thermometer ensures the temperature is just right.

To me, the easiest way to avoid fast food is taking one block of time once a week and preparing for the busy days ahead. When I make up these rolls, we know we have something even quicker than a sandwich to grab and go. I love this recipe because it is ready to use after 5 minutes, it doesn't require rising time.

Simple Yeast Dough Recipe

1 packet of quick rise yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons if you buy it in the jar)
1 cup of water, 105-115 degrees
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 TBL. oil
2 1/2 cups flour (1 1/4 wheat, 1 1/4 bread)

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the sugar, salt and oil in the same cup. Pour it into the flour and begin to knead. I have a dough hook on my mixer, so I do it that way, but it's also satisfying to knead by hand. When the dough is well mixed and kneaded, let it rest for 5 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare your fillings. Think what you'd put in a sandwich, ham and Swiss, beef and cheddar, pepperoni and mozzarella.

Divide the rested dough into 5 equal pieces and roll each piece into about a 6x9 rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and then roll up, pinching the ends to seal the roll. Place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until the outside is golden brown.

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