I am the Thrift Store Queen. I love the stuff you can find, from clothes, to shoes, cookware, furniture and the variety of strange and amazing things. Another man’s trash really can be your treasure. Part of the reason for my fascination with Thrift Stores is to show others that you can dress stylishly, find amazing deals and feel no shame in the fact that you’re using previously owned things. I work with newly arrived refugees. Most families when they arrive have very little in terms of material possessions. Not only does an entire apartment have to be furnished but often clothes (especially here in Salt Lake we need clothes for four DISTINCT seasons) are desperately needed. Thrift Stores are a must when buying entire wardrobes for a family all at once and picking up kitchen tools and small furniture items. I like looking at my clients in the eyes and telling them that everything they see me wearing is from the Thrift Store and that we need to begin a new adventure by having a shopping fashion show. Over the years we’ve had a lot of fun. A few weeks ago, while taking a family of four from Burma through the Thrift Store, I came upon two cast iron skillets. They were $4 each. I was almost hyperventilating with joy. I bought both. One for the Burmese family and one for me.
The Burmese family love their new skillet. I love mine as well. I’ve already cooked with it on the grill outside, used it to press down on paneer as a heavy weight and made a pineapple upside down cake in it. It’s time to make rolls. This was my first attempt at making rolls in the cast iron skillet. I loved how evenly they cooked and how long they stayed warm. The roll recipe is QUICK. There is extra yeast added to make it rise in 20 minutes so while you’re getting other things ready for dinner, you can put these rolls together. They were just the right texture, warm, buttery and delicious. The batch makes two dozen rolls, so I ended up with a dozen rolls in the cast iron skillet and pan full of garlic breadsticks. Not a bad deal at all!!
Quick Rise Rolls
1 3/4 cups warm water
3 packets active dry yeast (2 tbsp plus 1 tsp)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted butter and a little extra for brushing
2 tsp salt
Kosher salt for sprinkling on top
2 large eggs, beaten
4-6 cups flour (more if needed due to humidity)
Pre-heat oven to 400° F. If using a stand mixer, attach the paddle attachment and in the mixing bowl, mix together water, yeast and honey and let it sit for about 5 minutes until foamy. Mix on low speed and slowly add in the melted butter and eggs. Add in 3 cups of flour and continue to mix on low for a minute or so. Add in salt and flour as needed until a soft dough is formed and it begins to form a ball. Divide dough in half. Portion half of the dough into 12 balls and roll smoothly. Place in a cast iron skillet and cover with a dish cloth or plastic wrap. Shape the remaining dough into rolls or bread sticks (can also be used as a pizza dough) if desired. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. They should double in size during that time. Brush with melted butter and place the skillet in the pan. Bake for 25 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with more melted butter and sprinkle each roll with a small amount of kosher salt. Serve warm with butter, jam or any other topping!