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The Thanksgiving Bread Basket


Abra
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I'm an experienced bread baker, but here's a thing I've never tried. I think the absolutely best rolls for Thanksgiving are these Buttery Pan Rolls. But this year, in my kitchen in France, I only have one oven and not enough time or counter space to make these at the last minute, as I usually do.

Could I form and butter the rolls, wrap tightly, and freeze? Then let them thaw and rise before baking? How much time do you think the thaw/rise would take? I'm guessing about 4 hours.

I know, baking bread in France is totally coals to Newcastle, but I'm having a dozen people for their first Thanksgiving, and these rolls are so typically American and so not French.

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I'm an experienced bread baker, but here's a thing I've never tried.  I think the absolutely best rolls for Thanksgiving are these Buttery Pan Rolls.  But this year, in my kitchen in France, I only have one oven and not enough time or counter space to make these at the last minute, as I usually do.

Could I form and butter the rolls, wrap tightly, and freeze?  Then let them thaw and rise before baking?  How much time do you think the thaw/rise would take?  I'm guessing about 4 hours.

I know, baking bread in France is totally coals to Newcastle, but I'm having a dozen people for their first Thanksgiving, and these rolls are so typically American and so not French.

Would have thought you might squeeze them in. Make the dough a couple of hours ahead & set aside to rise. (I'd make only 24 & make them fairly small so they fit on one pan). When the bird or whatever your main course is that takes up a lot of oven space comes out pop in the rolls. The 15 minutes they take to cook makes them about ready after any bird or meat resting time.

Think this should work, but then again I don't know your menu so it might not. Think the French would enjoy them.

We're doing Thanksgiving today, also for 12. For an explanation of why look here. Post of November 4th.

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I'm going to make these fluffy make ahead dinner rolls. They're from Cook's Country( part of Cook's Illustrated).

You make them, fully bake them and then freeze them. They're supposedly even better when reheated( as opposed to fresh).

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Cali, the recipe doesn't show up unless one pays CI, something I'll never, ever do agin in this lifetime so much have I had hassles with CI.

But rant aside, if you do make them well ahead, freeze, and try one test thaw in advance of Thanksgiving, please do let me know how they turn out. That would be really interesting, if it works well, as I'll have my hands full all day before the meal.

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French fridges are pretty small, and mine is going to be stuffed already. If I could freeze ahead I could set the pan in the (very warm) laundry/boiler room to thaw and rise, and it would be out of the traffic pattern.

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French fridges are pretty small, and mine is going to be stuffed already.  If I could freeze ahead I could set the pan in the (very warm) laundry/boiler room to thaw and rise, and it would be out of the traffic pattern.

Well generally in the restaurant industry have the bread baked off, you should then freeze the rolls whole (cooked). Reheat in oven at 300degrees for maybe 5-7 minutes. You can butter them yourself but generally... not all people want butter on their rolls, some like very little, i myself like a ton... So maybe butter at the table...

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I may be in the gutter, but I am still staring at the stars.

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The last two options are the best, and why I didn't think of it right off the bat is a good indication that my brain is sludge right now. It's what I do all the time to every sort of bread.

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French fridges are pretty small, and mine is going to be stuffed already.

Abra, is there any chance it gets cold enough where you are that you might have a functioning "walk-in", either in an unheated garage or shed, or even just secured in an animal-proof box outside?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Melissa, that did make me laugh. Up until last week we had mosquitos at night! It was about 60° today, and the nights are barely cool. That's one reason I'm a bit stymied. At home in the Pacific Northwest I use the outdoor fridge concept all winter. Here, it's tee shirt weather during the day.

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Melissa, that did make me laugh.  Up until last week we had mosquitos at night!  It was about 60° today, and the nights are barely cool.  That's one reason I'm a bit stymied.  At home in the Pacific Northwest I use the outdoor fridge concept all winter.  Here, it's tee shirt weather during the day.

Oh well. It was a thought. :rolleyes:

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Abra,

Nowadays I always make the "Middle-Class Brioche Rolls" from Reinhart's BBA the day before, and warm them up before serving. But before Reinhart came along, my standard was the much leaner Parker House Rolls from the New England Yankee Cookbook. They're also fine made the day ahead, especially if just underbaked slightly and then warmed up before serving. And you can't get much more American than that.

If you don't happen to have this Gospel of New England Cooking in your expat library, I'd be happy to p.m. the recipe to you.

- Laura

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I'm doing the family "refrigerator roll" recipe that comes from my sister-in-law's family somewhere in Ohio. Sort of a classic soft roll recipe with milk and butter/shortening in the dough, mixed the night before and then shaped, proofed, and baked the day of.

This year, though, I'm going to try using my wild yeast starter instead of commercial yeast. Gulp. Hope it works. I've only ever used it for basic rustic loaves before.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Lapin, I'd love to see that recipe, if you don't mind. I'm used to doing breads at the last minute, and the reheating thing worries me. But lots of people say it's ok, so it must be. And I really need it to be ok!

By the way, look here to see more of how your namesake bunny lives in France.

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I am starting the crescent rolls tonight.

The recipe suggests that they can be made up to four days in advance prior to baking. They even say they get better the longer in advance you make them.

So, tonight, I basically mix up the dough. Let it rise at room temp for a few hours, punch it down, form it into a rough rectange, put it on a sheet pan, cover it, and place it in the fridge.

Tomorrow, I roll it out, cut the triangle pieces, roll and shape the rolls, place on a sheet pan, and back in the fridge. They stay there till Thursday morning. Pull out the pan. Let them proof at room temp, then bake.

This is going to work out great. I have time to mix up dough tonight. I may need to stay up kinda late until it finishes it's initial proof, but that's OK. It doesn't involve much active work. Shaping tuesday works too because I am going out to dinner Wednesday night and I won't have time to do a lot of work in the kitchen Wednesday night.

I'll try to remember to take pictures.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Cali, the recipe doesn't show up unless one pays CI, something I'll never, ever do agin in this lifetime so much have I had hassles with CI.

But rant aside, if you do make them well ahead, freeze, and try one test thaw in advance of Thanksgiving, please do let me know how they turn out.  That would be really interesting, if it works well, as I'll have my hands full all day before the meal.

Just click NO, you don't want a trial issue and you can get the recipe.

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Lapin, I'd love to see that recipe, if you don't mind.  I'm used to doing breads at the last minute, and the reheating thing worries me.  But lots of people say it's ok, so it must be.  And I really need it to be ok!

On its way to you via p.m.

And yes, it's OK to reheat! In some cases, I think the bread actually develops it's flavor a bit over the course of a day.

By the way, look here to see more of how your namesake bunny lives in France.

Thanks for the link...those are cute bunnies (as if there are no cute bunnies). And the food looked great!

- Laura

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