I have always heard about the free little libraries that are located all around the world in parks and neighborhoods. Well, I came across one in a park that I was visiting, and I found Like Water for Chocolate inside, and it had been on my list (which is so long, and I am constantly adding to it) for a long time, so I decided to go ahead and borrow it.
When I started to read this gem of a book, I got a great idea! Since there is a recipe at the beginning of every chapter, and instructions on how to cook the dish intertwined in the story, the idea that came to me was that I should make each recipe, and present them here to you! The first of the recipes is for Christmas rolls. Which, according to the main character, Tita, are traditionally made around Christmas time. Christmas rolls are hard rolls stuffed with sardines, chorizo, onion, and green chilies. I'm not usually a fan of chorizo, but combined with the other flavors, it was a flavor explosion!
I have divided this first recipe into two posts since a recipe for hard rolls is also required.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 package of yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 cup water
Pour the flour into a large bowl, creating a well in the center.
In the well, combine the sugar, yeast, and 2 teaspoons of the water. Do not mix the yeast and water with the flour yet.
Cover the bowl with a towel, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Add the remaining water and the oil.
Mix with the dough hook on your stand mixer (or use a rubber spatula if you don't have a mixer) until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until a smooth ball is formed. Add little bits of flour if the dough is sticky.
Place the dough back into the bowl, and cover with a towel.
Allow the dough to rise for at least 2 hours.
Punch the dough down.
Place the dough onto a floured surface, and flatten the dough with your hands, making it into a nice rectangle.
Either using your hands or a rolling pin (I opted for my hands,) flatten the dough until it is about 1" thick.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 equal parts.
Place 1 square of dough in front of you.
Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of the square.
Pull all of the corners to the center, and pinch them together.
Lift the roll into the palm of your hand, and mold it into a nice sphere.
Be sure not to make your rolls too large.
Place the rolls onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.
Cover the rolls, and allow them to rise for two hours.
When they are ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C.)
Brush the tops of the rolls with an egg wash made by mixing an egg white with a couple of teaspoons of water.
Bake the rolls until a deep golden brown; about 20 minutes.
In the next blog post, I will continue with the second part of the recipe for Christmas Rolls.