a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Wad of Dough --- a step up from Biscuits

Still repeating: Making your own master mixes is a great way to save money, prepare quickly, eliminate extraneous ingredients/preservatives, and tailor the mixes to your own likes and dietary needs.

Amy Dacyczyn's book The Tightwad Gazette III, page 19, provides another way to make make-aheads.This time it's about rolls, not biscuits. I love the variety. I hope one of these recent posts "calls your name!"

After posting the two different master mixes from two of my stand-by cookbooks, I decided to turn some pages in one of Amy's books. I wasn't expecting to turn to "Save a wad of dough!" In this segment she talks about a multipurpose potato refrigerator-dough recipe that appeared in all pre-1986 editions of The Betty Crocker Cookbook.  She said that while the original recipe includes mashed potatoes, "to save time her husband gets out potato flakes and other required ingredients to make the called-for  mashed potatoes and adds those ingredients directly to the batch of dough."

Amy checked with Lloyd Moxon, author of The Baking Book and a microbiologist, who specializes in yeast biochemistry to find out the purpose of the mashed potatoes: "Mashed potatoes--or any pureed vegetable--is vital for refrigerator doughs because it preserves moisture in the dry climate of a fridge. A regular yeast dough would dry and become unworkable more rapidly."

I googled "pre 1986 edition Betty Crocker cookbook" to see what I could turn up----many
This one, from http://eatinonthecheap.com/2008/11/11/my-new-best-friend-refrigerator-dough/

Betty Crocker Refrigerator Dough
1 pkg. (2-1/4 T.) active dry yeast
1 ½ cup hot water
1 cup leftover unseasoned mashed potatoes or 
       instant mashed potatoes prepared to equal 1 c.
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (do not use oil)
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. salt
6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, and 3 c. of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic; about 5 minutes. Place in large greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days.
From here you can make anything. Each time you pull the dough out of the fridge just punch down the dough and take out what you need. 
Here are instructions for all sorts of other kinds of bread made with this dough. Also feel free to substitute some whole wheat flour for all-purpose to make it healthier.
Brown-and-Serve Rolls: shape dough as directed in any recipe below. Let rise 1 hour. Heat oven to 275°. Bake 20 minutes (do not brown). Remove from pans, cool to room temperature. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in refrigerator no longer than 8 days or freeze no longer than 2 months. At serving time, pre-heat oven to 400°, bake until brown, 8 to 12 minutes.
Cloverleaf Rolls: shape ¼ of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 3 balls in each greased muffin cup. Brush with softened margarine, let rise one hour. Heat oven to 400° and bake about 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. 1 dozen rolls.

Four-Leaf Clovers: shape ¼ of dough into 2-inch balls. Place each ball into a greased muffin cup. With scissors, snip each ball completely into halves, then into quarters. Brush with softened margarine. Let rise one hour. Heat oven to 400° and bake about 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. 1 dozen rolls.
Crescent Rolls: roll ¼ of dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Lightly spread with softened margarine. Cut into 16 wedges. Roll up tightly beginning at rounded edges, stretching dough as it is rolled. Place rolls with points underneath on a greased cookie sheet, curving slightly. Let rise one hour. Heat oven to 400° and bake about 15 minutes until golden brown. 16 rolls.
Pan Biscuits: use half of dough recipe. Roll dough into 13X9 rectangle on a well-floured surface. Place in greased, oblong pan (13X9X2). Cut dough into rectangles, each about 3X2 ½ inches. Brush with softened margarine. Let rise one hour. Heat oven to 400° and bake about 25 minutes until golden brown. 15 rolls.

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