Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hawaiian Rolls

I have never been to Hawaii. It looks like it would be a place I would enjoy. Spam musubi? Check. Tropical drinks in tall glasses? Check. Sand for days? Check.

The closest I have been to visiting Hawaii is watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Oh and eating King's Hawaiian rolls.

Kings Hawaiian rolls are outrageous. They are a food group. Soft and sweet, they are the perfect vehicle for sliders or mini ham and cheese sandwiches. Or nothing at all, I can eat these babies plain.

Last night Jeff and I were at the store and decided we were doing sliders for dinner. Jeff asked if it was possible to make the Hawaiian rolls we know and love from scratch? Challege accepted.

These are a basic raised roll recipe, with one slight variation.

The secret to the sweet flavor of Hawaiian rolls is pineapple juice. Who knew?

After kneading together flour, yeast, pineapple juice and a few other ingredients you will get a dough that looks like this. Let it rest in a warm place, covered, until it has doubled in size. Then punch and divide into a dozen or so small rolls.

These rolls have to rest and rise... I know it is a long process but the second rise will make your rolls light and fluffy (if you baked them before they proof they would be super dense and not delicious.) So wait it out.



After a quick trip in the oven, brush the tops with butter and dig in.


Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
adapted from lepetitebrioche.com
makes 1 dozen

3-4 cups AP flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk (save the second white for egg washing to rolls before baking)
3/4 c pineapple juice
1/3 c sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 envelope yeast (I use bulk so it equates to 2 1/4 teaspoons per package)
6 Tablespoons butter, melted and divided
- - -
1. In a medium bowl, combine room temperature pineapple juice, sugar, salt, vanilla, egg and yolk and 4 Tablespoons melted butter
2. Measure 2 c of flour into a large bowl and pour wet ingredients over it, mixing until well combined
3. Sprinkle yeast over flour mixture and stir to distribute
4.  Add remaining 1-2 c flour*
5. Knead dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes to develop gluten; form it into a round
6. Place dough into a large, oiled bowl and turn once to coat ; rest in a warm place** for 1 1/2 hours (or until doubled)
7. Punch dough down and divide/shape it into 12 rolls; place formed rolls into a greased pan (you could do a 9x13 pan but I used one 9" cake round and a loaf pan_
8. Allow rolls to rest, covered loosely in plastic wrap in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled again
9. Pre-heat oven to 350 and brush the tops of proofed rolls with egg wash (egg white from earlier mixed with 2 Tablespoons water)
10. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, tops will be nice and golden
11. Brush tops of baked rolls with remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter right after you remove them from the oven

*The amount of total flour you use will depend on your environment... there was a lot of moisture in the air here yesterday so I added a little over 4 c total but you want to add enough to create a slightly tacky, not sticky, smooth dough. I like to turn my dough out onto a floured surface and add the last cup or so of flour a recipe calls for as I knead the dough so that I don't add too much.

**Whenever I have a recipe that requires rising in a warm place, I turn my oven on to 200 and let it warm for 3-5 minutes. Then I turn it off and place my covered dough in the warm oven and allow it to rise. I do this for  both the first and second rise.

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