For many people that celebrate Thanksgiving, the cooking begins today. I am responsible for the bread and will be making three different types of rolls. The first is my grandmother’s sweet white dough, famous for cinnamon rolls, but excellent with dinner and especially for leftover sandwiches. The second is Buttermilk Whole Wheat from “Baking with the St. Paul Bread Club.” The third is European Peasant Bread from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” I mentioned in another post that bread is one of my four personal food groups – it’s one of my weaknesses. I don’t get at all excited about mass manufactured bread, but the attitude changes when I’m presented with an excellent handmade one. I adore both crusty french and nutty, crunchy multigrain varieties.
My bread responsibility has developed into a loose tradition for family holidays. One Easter, before I knew the difference between winter, spring, hard, and soft wheats, I used soft wheat (specifically, whole wheat pastry flour) to make dinner rolls. I thought the light pastry flour would make a light dinner roll – nope. Hard wheat is the best wheat for yeast breads. Soft wheat is normally used for cakes and pastries. The resulting dinner rolls were a cross between a hockey puck and a tennis ball. My family is still talking about that experiment.