Brown n’ Serve dinner rolls have been around for a long time. There little pale rolls are real time savers in that you just pop them in a hot oven for a few minutes and presto you have fresh baked hot rolls to accompany your meal. But, we bread machine owners can do better and we can have a wider choice of bread times than just dinner rolls.
The premise behind Brown n’ Serve breads are simple. You make them, shape them and bake them. What makes the different is the baking process. You bake the bread at a lower temperature so that the bread gets cooked completely but not browned. Then when you finish the bread at the time you need it, it is then browned and heated which gives you and you family or guest the illusion that they have fresh hot baked bread.
Like with freezing bread dough for later baking you can use any recipe and do any shape you want from dinner rolls, to hamburger buns, to hot dog buns to full loaves of bread. The secret is in the baking.
Choose your recipe and prepare it on the dough cycle. Even if the recipe you have chosen was for baked in the machine or oven bread simply make it on the dough cycle instead of the basic, white or other cycle. When the dough is finished remove it to a lightly floured board and knead the air out of it.
Shaping the Dough
Rolls and Such
It is now that you need to decide what type of bread you are going to make because it is not that you have to shape the dough. For dinner rolls, sub rolls, bagels, hot dog buns, hamburger buns, etc. shape them appropriately. For instructions on to make their shapes look in the “Shaping Bread Dough” section, the “Recipes Step-by-Step” section or the “Recipes” section for instructions and/or ideas on shaping the dough. Once you have the dough shaped simply place it on a lightly greased baking sheet or a parchment lined baking sheet cover it with a damp towel or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with pan spray and place in a warm place to rise until doubled or per the shaped recipe directions.
Remember since it is the baking that makes the Brown n’ Serve possible you can follow any recipes directions for shaping and rising. It is the baking part that you want to follow the directions below.
For loaf bread I recommend the following shaping method. However, you can use whatever method you like. I recommend you roll the dough out in to a sheet that is as wide as your loaf pan and three times as long. Dust the dough with flour and then spray lightly with water. This forms a glue like paste. Then roll the dough up starting from the loaf pan width end and rolling it as tightly as possible. Seal the seam and then seal the two ends and gently tuck them under. Place the dough log in a lightly greased loaf pan seams down, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with pan spray and place in a warm place to rise until doubled.
Because each person’s oven is different you will need to do a bit of experimenting here to find the temperature and baking time that works best for you. For me I bake my bread at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 to 60 minutes. You want the bread be it rolls, bagels, or loaf bread to be fully baked but not browned. Once the bread is baked remove it from the oven and allow it cool in the loaf pan or on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
NOTE: Breads that contain a lot of sugar or fat or add-ins like nuts and raisins will need more baking time to get fully cooked. I recommend adding an addition 10 to 15 minutes to the baking for these breads. Remember you want the bread fully cooked but not browned.
Packaging and Freezing
Rolls and Such
Once your bread is fully cooled you are ready to package it and freeze it. I recommend that for rolls and such that you freeze them on cookie or baking sheets until fully frozen then wrap each in wax paper and place in a freezer grade zip-lock bag.
For loaf bread I recommend that you place the cold loaf back in the loaf pan it was baked in and then wrap in wax paper and place in a freezer grade zip-lock bag. This way when you need a loaf of bread it is basically ready to go, with no hunting for a pan.
Brown n’ Serve breads will keep when packaged well for 6 months. I recommend that you label and date each package so you no what it is and when it was frozen.
Using Your Brown n’ Serve Breads
Rolls and Such
Because they are already fully cooked you don’t have to wait for them to thaw. Simply take out what you need and place them on a cookie or baking sheet. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 30 minutes depending on the item size with larger items needing more time than smaller ones. It is now that the bread will thaw, head and brown. When you serve it, it will be just a good as fresh baked.
If you froze your loaf bread in the loaf pan simply remove it from the freezer and allow to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. Then place in a 350 degree preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until thawed heated and browned.
All of the just baked bread should be allowed to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing or cutting. However, serving it warm isn’t a problem. Fully cooled bread has a better flavor then warm or hot bread. However, you can serve it any way you want.