All homemade, conclusion

6.  At that point I was instructed to turn the lump out onto a lightly floured surface and “knead ten minutes or until smooth and elastic.”  Hmmm. . . I dumped it on the counter, set the timer for ten minutes and went to work.  It was a pretty sticky mess and it kept sticking to the counter, so at about seven-and-a-half minutes remaining, I began to wonder about this whole “soft dough” vs.  “stiff batter” concept.  I had to keep sprinkling flour on the counter and over the dough, and even at the two minute warning I wasn’t at all sure I was achieving anything smooth and elastic – except maybe my forearm muscles.

7.  When the timer FINALLY dinged, I formed the mass into a ball (but what about all those loose flaps and things?), put it in a greased bowl, sprayed non-stick all over it, and covered it with a towel as instructed.  Amazingly, in about 45 minutes it really did double in size.  Wow.

8.  Next, I punched it down, pulled the edges in, and flipped it out onto a lightly floured cutting board. I had already cleaned the counter once (and washed a zillion dishes), so I decided to try to contain the mess this time.  With a sharp knife, I sliced the puppy in half.

9.  Now came the challenge of cutting each of those halves into 36 pieces.   With scissors.  This took some eye-balling, and it’s a sure thing that all 36 (or actually, 72) pieces were not exactly the same size.   However, I proceeded to roll them into 72 balls and drop three into each of 24 greased muffin cups.  Melted butter was then brushed over each.

10.  Covering each pan with a towel, I placed them into the oven, which I had preheated a little bit and then turned off.  It’s hard to find a place in This Old House that would qualify as “warm and draft-free” in January, but I thought the new oven would be a safe bet.

11.  In another 45 minutes, the little cloverleafs had doubled again, so I pulled them out of the oven, warmed it to 400, and baked them for 10 minutes.

They smelled wonderful and tasted pretty good.  At least no one complained, and it was a totally homemade meal.


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