Eighteen days till Thanksgiving. Are you planning your menu? Polishing the silver, washing the crystal, pressing the linens, stenciling handmade place cards? Yes on the first question, no on all of the rest for me. Did you know there are really helpful planning time lines for these type of things? Real Simple (click here for the timeline) Magazine suggests:
Decide which recipes you want to make, keeping in mind that there’s only so much one person―and one kitchen―can do. If you really do need 10 side dishes, look for recipes that use the same oven temperature, so they can cook at the same time.
After you narrow down your menu, reread the recipes that remain. Most can be broken into steps that you can do ahead of time. Then make a list of what you want to get done on each of the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups warmed buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup melted shortening (Butter Flavor Crisco)
2 eggs, beaten
4-5 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm buttermilk, set aside. After a few minutes, the yeast should foam a bit.
In a large bowl, combine salt, sugar, soda, and baking powder . Mix in melted shortening, beaten eggs and 2 cups of the flour. Add the buttermilk mixture. Beat until smooth. Add remaining flour to make soft dough, mixing until thoroughly combined. I added a total of about 5 1/2 cups. This will depend on your altitude, weather, etc.
Cover and allow to rise about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk in a warm, draft free place. Roll out and cut into desired shapes. Place roll in greased pan, let rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Brush with melted butter while hot if desired.
Makes about 3-4 dozen rolls, depending on shape/size of rolls.
-If serving rolls later in the day , after shaping rolls and placing on baking sheet immediately cover with wax paper, then with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. If freezing, remove rolls from freezer about 3-4 hours before baking . Remove layers of plastic wrap and wax paper and cover loosely with a clean dish towel.