I spotted these Buttermilk Fantails Rolls on the cover of the February 2009 issue of Gourmet magazine and made them for dinner last night. They were surprisingly easy to make and a big hit. You can find the recipe online by clicking the recipe link, but I think mine look much better than those pictured on the website (if I do say so myself). For the sake of convenience, I've reproduced the recipe below. Do try them. I am not much of a bread maker, but was enormously pleased with these. Next time I'm going to add some onion and garlic powder to give them a little more flavor.
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon mild honey or sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Butter muffin cups with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Stir together yeast, warm water, and honey in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, start over with new yeast.)
Mix flour, salt, buttermilk, and 6 tablespoons melted butter into yeast mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead, dusting surface and your hands with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is elastic and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Form dough into a ball.
Put dough in an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft- free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down dough (do not knead), then halve. Roll out half of dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch square (about 1/8 inch thick; keep remaining half covered with plastic wrap). Brush dough with 1/2 tablespoon butter and cut into 6 equal strips. Stack strips, buttered sides up, and cut crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Turn each piece on a side and put into a muffin cup. Make more rolls with remaining dough in same manner. Separate outer layers of each roll to fan outward. Cover rolls with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills cups, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with rack in middle. Bake rolls until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush tops with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then transfer rolls to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes.
Rolls are best the day they're made but can be frozen (cool completely, then wrap well) 1 month. Thaw, then reheat on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F oven until warmed through, 5 to 10 minutes.
Gourmet | February 2009
by Ruth Cousineau
Yield: Makes 1 dozen rolls
Active Time: 45 min
Total Time: 5 hr (includes rising)
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