When I first started cooking I was a rule follower, I follwed recipes exactly, like it was my JOB. I even used a recipe for meatloaf measuring out every single ingredient and following the steps like world peace depended upon it. Somewhere during the thousands of meals I have cooked I decided that recipes are more like guidelines, they are great tools but not neccessary for a perfect outcome. And in the end if I have a fail (and yes there have been lots of failures) Pizza Hut is just a phone call away. It took me a long time to allow myself to take a chance and possibly fail, but the freedom has opened new doors to wonderful foods I might have not even attempted to make.
I am still a recipe follower when baking is involved, as I have found there is a very fine line in the success/failure when you are baking. So for several months I have been attempting to find a homemade wheat bread recipe that would become my new go-to recipe for bread and rolls. I wanted something that I could let the bread maker do the heavy lifting and then I could bake into bread or rolls. But each recipe I tried something was missing. I have an amazing white bread recipe and it was proving a very hard act to follow. Finally after MANY internal conversations with myself I just decided to go for it and adapt my country roll recipe.
Honey Wheat Bread
1 cup water, plus
1 tablespoon water (70-80 F)
1 large egg
4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
Put all ingredients in your bread maker in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Set to the dough cycle. When cycle is complete (mine takes 1 1/2 hours) punch down and take dough out, either pinch into rolls and put on greased pan to rise, or turn out and put into greased bread pan. I went with the bread pan because I was afriad if I took the time to make into rolls and they didn't turn out I would be too invested in them, the more time you spend with your dough the more involved you will get, and I just didn't need that kind of heartbreak if things went south, just sayin'. Cover with towel and sit in a warm place to rise. Hold breath and say a little prayer.
45 minutes later something magical has happened:
Take off the towel and give thanks for small miracles.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, when you thump on it it should sound hollow. Take out of oven, turn out onto wire rack, and cover with butter.
Wait until cool to slice, yeah right, who in their right mind is going to do that?
Are you a recipe rule follower or fly by the seat of your pants kinda cook?