I remember one particular stay in the Cardiology Unit at Texas Children's Hospital. During my two weeks spent wheeling down corridors and coloring on pads of paper, my room filled with flowers, balloons, and signs of well wishes. As wires poked out of my body and as electronic nods monitored the beat of my heart, I saw the love of my friends and family surround me.
Even better than balloons, my sweet grandmother brought in special treats to shore up my strength--brownies, cake, and even a slice of apple pie. But what I craved the most was a soft and flaky roll, and so she brought in large paper containers full of the most delicate and buttery rolls she could find.
Whenever I bake, I think of moments like these. Moments where love was conveyed through a piece of food and a warm hug. Yesterday, my baby nephew, Ryan ,came home from the hospital. After two months of fighting for his life and then slowly regaining his strength, baby Ryan is home.
He still can't eat, he still can't walk, but he's alive, and we rejoice in his sweet smile, his precious presence.
Tonight, I remember how it felt to be so sick as a child. I remember how it felt to wonder if I would live or die. Tonight, I think about all the people that showered me with love and encouragement, who brought me stuffed animals, balloons, and dozens of rolls.
And I think of all the people that surrounded my sister, Susanne, and her family as they battled beside baby Ryan for his life.
He is home. I am alive and well. There is so much joy to be found in my world.
This simple dinner roll recipe is elevated by the use of a mashed avocado. The rich creaminess of that green flesh adds a moistness to the dough that can't be matched by any other fat.
These rolls are simple and comforting. They would be perfect served alongside a bowl of soup or passed around at your holiday table. I chose to shape these rolls into crescents, but they can be twisted or shaped into whatever variation you prefer.
Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement during these last few months. We are so thankful baby Ryan is home, and we pray that he will continue to make progress towards wholeness and healing.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup honey
1 cup mashed avocado (from 1-2 avocados)
1 large egg
5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1. Heat the milk until warm, whisk in the honey and the mashed avocado and beat until smooth. Once mixture has cooled to 110 degrees, whisk in your egg.
2. Combine 5 cups of flour, the yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture and stir until combined, about two minutes.
3. Increase to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but should stick slightly to the bottom. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour (2 TBSP at the time) if the dough is too sticky.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand to form a smooth ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch circle and cut into eight equal wedges. Stretch each wedge until it is 2 to 3 inches longer and roll each wedge up, starting at the wide end.
6. Lay the rolls on the baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Mist the rolls with vegetable spray, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until nearly doubled in size, 45-65 minutes.
7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If desired, brush the rolls with a dab of melted butter. Bake until the rolls are lightly golden, about 20 -25 minutes. Let the rolls cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes before serving warm.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores