A tip of the hat to island-style Butterflake Roll


POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lucky you live Hawaii, yeah? For the best in mangoes, lychee, lau lau. Not to mention easy access to Spam musubi. And butter rolls.

I never figured butter rolls for an only-in-Hawaii thing. It's not as though yeast and white flour are grown here. But enough people have reported to me that when they moved away they could no longer find those soft buns — and so I accept this as truth.

Kai Michaels has done the best job of explaining the difference: She yearns for a light, buttery roll with a “;hat”; on top, as though the roll were baked in a muffin tin. You know — it looks like a giant mushroom, and apparently our brethren on the mainland just don't make 'em that way.

Well, calls to a few local bakeries didn't help. At one, they told me their dough comes to them frozen from New Zea- land (!) and they just bake it up here. So much for the local-exclusivity theory.

But anyway, the clue I got there was the name that bakery uses for the buns — Butterflake Rolls.

A search of a number of baking cookbooks turned up zilch, or rather, many recipes with the right name and the wrong approach, but the Internet produced one, at recipegold, that's baked in a muffin tin.

I tried it a couple times, tasted it against those frozen-in-New-Zealand rolls and adapted it to what you find here.

It's not an especially difficult yeast project, as there's no kneading or punching down. But you do need to allow time, as the dough rises overnight in the fridge and then again once you've shaped the individual rolls.

You'll have your little mushroom-shaped buns, and they'll be buttery with a nice, light flavor. Knock yourself out.


Butterflake Rolls

1 package dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
3/4 cup lukewarm water (100 to 105 degrees)
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine yeast, water and sugar, stir; let sit 5 minutes.

Sift together flour and salt.

Beat eggs with shortening; add yeast mixture. Stir in flour gradually.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or as long as a week. (Be sure your container is large enough to let dough rise to almost double.)

Next morning roll out dough to about 3/4-inch thickness and brush with butter. Fold over. Roll out and fold again three times, brushing with butter each time.

Cut into 12 1-1/2 inch squares. Place in muffin tins. Brush with more butter. Let rise 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls 10 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per roll: 170 calories, 9 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 4 g protein.