There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.

Not Furstenberg’s rolls. Make ’em yourself to see what they look like.

As we head into Thanksgiving, Y&H wants to help you eat like a pilgrim (a Native American, too, because we’re all about equal opportunity eating here). In other words, we want to help you eat locally for the holiday. Almost 400 years ago, the pilgrims had no choice but to eat local. These days, we do. But it’s not easy.

When I called G Street Food baker and chef Mark Furstenberg for recommendations on where to buy good dinner rolls, he immediately suggested that home cooks make their own instead.

I balked. I said that it’s impossible to find local flour, and local was the theme of my assignment: build a holiday dinner from metro area ingredients. At least with store-bought rolls,  I thought, I could kid myself they were local.

That’s when Furstenberg told me about Patrick Henry All-Purpose flour from Byrd Mill, which you can buy it online (minimum $10 order). Hmmm, Ashland, Va., that sounds close enough to home to qualify as local to me (even if the wheat is, no doubt, from somewhere far, far away). I accepted Furstenberg’s re-direct. I even accepted, with open arms and gullet, his recipe for buttery homemade dinner rolls.

Furstenberg’s recipe is after the jump.

Mark Furstenberg’s Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

17.5 ounces Patrick Henry All-Purpose from Byrd Mill

12.3 ounces water at approximately 60 degrees F.

.4 ounces salt

a sprinkle of instant dry yeast

1 stick butter

  1. Put flour and water in the bowl of an electric mixer and combine them.  Then let them rest for 10-20 minutes.   Add yeast and mix for two minutes on low speed, adding salt.  Mix for two minutes on low speed after salt addition.
  2. Put the dough into a bowl and cover.  Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.
  3. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and fold it, bringing one side into the middle, then the other side.  Then bring the two unfolded ends into the middle.  Put the dough folded side down into a bowl sprayed lightly with pan spray.
  4. Allow the dough to rest in the bowl for two hours or until risen and puffy.
  5. Fold the dough as before and put it folded side down on a counter.
  6. After 30 minutes cut the dough into little pieces of approximately one ounce..
  7. Dip each piece in melted butter and put them into a round or square cake pan.
  8. Allow them to rise for one hour or until light and puffy.
  9. Sprinkle them with coarse sea salt and bake them in an oven pre-heated to 450 degrees until they are deeply browned.

Photo by Elin B via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License