Yesterday I got it in my head to make Parker house rolls. The recipe seemed simple enough, and I had time. I heated up the required amount of milk to just below the stated temperature. In the past I have over heated the milk for a bread recipe and then you have to wait until it cools down otherwise you kill your yeast almost instantly. I mixed in the butter, flour and a pinch of salt. It all seemed to be going like breeze. The result though was quite a soupy mess. No problem, I thought that's what kneading and extra flour are for.
Please keep in mind dear reader that while I was trying to do all of this I had two of my three kids running amok and then I had to put them down for their naps.
I kneaded some extra flour into the dough and set it aside for it's first rising. Time elapses and I punch down the dough for it's second rising. It still seemed quite sticky but I kept going. The recipe said heat the oven to 325 degrees, roll dough into balls and place in an 8x8 pan. hmmm...they're going to stick together but alright. After this step you are supposed to let them rise for two hours. 2 hours in the pan?!
And this is where my failure began to take shape. With the oven heated to 325 degrees (still not sure why it said to do this when the rolls were supposed to rise for 2 more hours) I am pretty sure the dough got WAY to warm. I had to go and get my oldest off her school bus at this point. My rolls not only grew together but formed themselves into the pan.
Fine. I'll still bake them, how bad can it be? The recipe then failed me. It said bake them for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. At what temperature? Didn't say. I know for a fact that 325 was a bit on the cool side for baking these rolls, for it took my mess a good 45 minutes or more to bake.
I have to say that I haven't failed at baking in a long time, so yesterday's failure was rather nice. Next time I'll make sure to have my husband around to help wrangle the kids while I play with yeast and flour. Those two ingredients sure are persnickety!