We create our own mythology and my sabbath is the morning. Ritual has become important for me, no matter how undeniably boring it may seem. I like the simple beginnings to the day, the power to breathe without feeling stifled. The power to slowly shake the dust of sleep from my hair and curl up on the couch while I hit snooze over and over again. Milo wakes up first and the rest of the house follows. I measure out 8 cups of water, 4 scoops of coffee. While it percolates, I lay on the couch, under a tattered Navajo blanket and try to stay warm. We keep the air on all night, it makes us lazy in the morning. We tuck our feet into anything warm, pillowcases and warm puppy bellies. Elsa's sleepy eyes stare at me until I crack my back and start my day. Put the clothes in the dryer, wash my face, duck my hair under the faucet. I drink two cups of coffee and walk out the door. I don't eat until dinner.
But when the summer comes, I sleep longer. I break my own dogma. I'm a little hungrier than the day before. I woke up this morning and wanted oatmeal, peasant food. Warm food. The air conditioning was cold and I needed to be warm, to feel like home. The way my mother used to make it, sweet and buttery. I kneaded it into a bread dough and made these rolls. I'll eat them all week, warmed up and enjoyed with my coffee. With the dogs at my feet, waiting for a ripped morsel. With a boy breathing in my bedroom, his head chasing the daylight, avoiding it at all costs.
Honey Oat Rolls
oft and delicate, these rolls remind me of home. Add a little smoked salt for a savory kick, or keep them sweet and light with your coffee and cream. Makes 12-14 rolls.
- In a small saucepan, heat water to a boil and add oatmeal
- Cook oatmeal by simmering for2 minutes, until tender.
- Add sugar, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes or until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Mixture will be sticky
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment. Allow to stand and cool until outside of bowl is warm, but not hot to the touch (approx. 110*F)
- Stir in yeast with a fork and allow to sit for 5 minutes. You will not see any bubbles (the mixture is so viscous), but it will help to activate the yeast
- Turn machine on low and first four cups of flour, one at a time. Allow to mix on medium for 4 minutes and gradually add remaining flour to create a steady dough
- Roll onto a floured surface and sprinkle in remaining salt and sugar (I like the small amount of texture separating the spices like this can bring). Knead for 5 minutes until dough is springy. Place in an oiled bowl (turning once to oil the top as well) and allow to sit in a warm place, covered, for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Once hour is done, preheat oven to 350* and punch dough down. Grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet with butter and divide dough evenly into 12-14 equal parts, rolling them in your hand and placing them seam side down. Cover with towel and let rise for 20 minutes
- Gently rub tops with small amount of butter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and puffed. Remove and cool gently
- Store in airtight container to enjoy 3-4 days after baking.
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup oatmeal (it would be fun to experiment with different flavors. Peaches and cream anyone?
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup rich honey, clover
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 tablespoon butter, room temperature. Plus extra for greasing
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 1/2-5 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoon white sugar