Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jordan Rolls, Gluten Free

One of my facebook friends recently posted the link for a wonderful looking recipe called Jordan Rolls.  When I clicked to the link, I saw the most mouthwatering photos of a delectable looking yeast roll.  And the recipe looked pretty easy.  The technique seemed to be along the lines of a yeast biscuit that I've read about in historical fiction.  I've never made yeast biscuits, because by the time I became curious about them, I had mostly eliminated glutenous flours from my home.

But, oh my, did those photos look tasty.  Just click on that link above and see if you don't agree.  Can't you just almost smell that yeasty, wheaty, buttery goodness?  The smell as they bake, developing a crispy golden crust?  The steamy aroma as you pull them from the oven?  Can you smell it?  And then pull them apart, and watch that springy gluten hold it's delicate shape.

Mmmm.  OK, maybe I'm coveting just a little bit.

I read through the recipe a few times.  On a couple of different days.  I looked at the photos.  Dreamed.  Pined, even.  And I imagined how I'd change the recipe for gluten free flours.

After a few days, I cut and pasted the recipe onto a document file.

And then after that, I made a few changes.  At first, I kept the recipe as is, except for replacing the flour and adding xanthan gum.

Then I streamlined the instructions.  This may actually make things more confusing for some, but for me, it's easier this way.  I find it really difficult to keep track of where I am in an ingredient list and where I am in the instructions.  So I usually rewrite my recipes so that the ingredient amounts are right in the instructions, but in bold.  Then I only have to keep track of my steps in one location on the page.

Next I considered whether I needed all the different steps and how things might work differently using the GF flours.  For instance, most GF bread dough is more like very thick batter.  So putting it out on a floured surface to kneed it and then moving it afterwards, ... huh-uh.  Not going to happen. Besides, since you don't need to develop the gluten, you really don't need to kneed it.

I'll post my version here, and then at the end, I'll add any commentary.
Gluten Free Jordan Rolls
1/2 cup solid fat (bacon grease, lard or tallow, butter, shortening)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 packets fast acting yeast
1 tsp xanthan gum
5 cups GF flour mix, divided
4 eggs (the original recipe calls for 2 eggs, but while I was adding the second bunch of flour, the dough seemed too stiff, so I added two more, for both moisture and protein.)
½ c coconut oil
1 1/2 cups water

½ c sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 c flour
1 ½ TB yeast
1 tsp xanthan gum

Mix in a large mixing oven proof bowl.  (I used the metal bowl from my Kitchen Aid mixer.)

Cut in ½ c fat
Stir 4 eggs lightly with fork, then stir into above. 

Heat together until blood warm ½ c coconut oil
1 ½ c water
Stir into dough mix. (I used the whipping attachment for the first steps, to imitate a pastry knife; then switched it to the standard beater from here on to the end.)

Add remaining 3 c flour a little at a time, until combined.  Mixture should be very thick, but not stiff.

Cover with a sprayed pan or lid, and let sit in a warm place for twenty minutes.
Optional: heat oven to 175F degrees then turn it off, and put the covered dough into the oven.

After twenty minutes, turn out into a greased 10”x15” pan.
Spread evenly into the bottom of pan.
Cut into 15 squares with a pizza cutter. (I greased a large plastic ulu style pizza cutter and it was still a mess, trying to do this step with GF flours.  It turned out OK, but I will probably try something different next time.)
Let rise again for twenty minutes in warm place.

Take the pan out of the oven after dough has risen, and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes, or until tops are golden.
Brush with additional melted butter
Things I liked: These rolls were light and fluffy.  The texture was appealing.  The flavor and aroma were nice.  After being refrigerated overnight, the left-over rolls could be sliced without crumbling into small bread slices for toast or sandwiches.  It was quick and easy.

Things I didn't like:   The rolls were very crumbly when fresh from the oven.  We were able to carefully slice them in half, and dab (not spread) a bit of butter on the halves, but they would not have stood up to anything being spread on them.  Some of the kids broke theirs apart and used their spoons and forks to eat them.  Also, these made very big rolls.

Things I will do differently next time:  Use two 9"x13" pans, 12 rolls/pan, which would make smaller rolls; or simply blob the batter onto jelly roll pans, doing smallish blobs (maybe 1"), but somewhat close together so that they will come together a little bit as they rise.

I also might try some almond meal, just to see what happens.

The flour blend I use is from Pete and Kelli Bronski's No Gluten No Problem blog, also found in their cookbook, Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking.

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