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The Baker's Quest-Part 2

Welcome back to the continuing saga of my quest to become a proficient halfway decent baker. Let's jump right in! This week I undertook something that my disgustingly talented big sis has had mastered for a while now. Love you, Heather! :-p Bread! My logic was that , since I overworked the cupcakes last week, maybe I should do something that actually needs some extra working. Here's what I did:

Pull-Apart Garlic Buns

2-1/2 to 3 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp shortening

1 egg

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat the milk, water and shortening to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat until moistened. Add egg; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces. Shape each into a bun. Combine paprika and garlic powder. Dip each bun in melted butter, then in paprika mixture.

Place six buns in a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans; sprinkle with half of the sesame seeds. Top with remaining buns and sesame seeds. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (12 buns).

Last week I talked a lot about making sure you have the proper tools for your quest/recipe. Thus the reappearance of my awesome stand mixer, Beatrice. Here we have the wet and dry ingredients ready to be combined.

Right after that comes the subjective part of the recipe. What does a "soft dough" look like? I ended up adding all the rest of the flour until I had a very slightly sticky dough. I stopped there because I knew I would be kneading the dough on a floured surface, so I didn't want to overdo it.

So far, so good. Now, I don't have a pastry cutter, but I have a metal spatula, which worked just as well. I cut the log in half, then into halves again, and then into thirds.

Then, after I made the rolls, I set up a dipping station.

Now here's the twist: I had a 45-minute rise time, but a half-hour drive West to Nova's house for our weekly Sunday get-together. I gave Mike a heads up to when we had to go and left pretty much as soon as the clock started.

Ooooooh, look how much they rose. This was a very exciting moment for me. Once the bread was baked, we would find out if I was successful or if I biffed it again. a true test of my baker's questing skills!

Ladies and gentleman, I can bake bread!!! The paprika did turn the top of the rolls orange and was a little strong in my opinion. I'll probably leave that off next time, but they were a hit anyway. They were soft and just a little chewy. I am so proud of myself and very excited to continue my success next week.

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