Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BLT Sliders

Last Saturday while I was downtown for the Artist Market, I crossed the street to the Farmer's Market looking for something to have for breakfast. I found a delicious croissant with French bittersweet chocolate chips. Before I headed back to my booth, I decided to purchase some amazing tomatoes I had seen. I had plenty of bacon left from some bacon wrapped chicken breasts I had made for myself and the hubby the night before and, since I had been craving BLTs for months, knew what had to be done.

Using some leftover Kitchenaid 60-Minute Dinner Rolls I had also made for the previous night's dinner, I turned the tomatoes into some seriously delicious BLT Sliders. They were so good, I had them for dinner two nights in a row, until my tomatoes were gone. These are perfect for lunch or a light dinner and they would be so cute for a summer cookout! You could certainly save time making these by simply using store bought dinner rolls, but I definitely recommend this roll recipe as it is lightning fast and so good. I also recommend getting the best, freshest tomatoes and lettuce you can. Anytime you recipe has so few ingredients, you always want to use the best ones you can find.

BLT Sliders

Kitchenaid 60-Minute Dinner Rolls (recipe below)
fresh, local tomatoes
romaine lettuce
Hellmann's low-fat mayonnaise
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut each bacon strip into thirds. Cook bacon to your preferred crispness. Drain on paper towels while preparing the sliders.

Cut dinner rolls in half. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise onto the top and bottom buns.

Wash, dry and slice tomatoes and lettuce.

To assemble sandwiches, place one tomato slice per slider onto the bottom bun. Sprinkle tomato slice with kosher salt and a grind or two of pepper. Place 3 pieces of bacon (equal to one whole bacon slice, as they were cut into thirds before cooking) on top of the tomato. Top with lettuce and top bun.

I find that 1 whole piece of bacon per slider is sufficient, though you can certainly adjust the ratio of ingredients if you'd like. I always place my tomato slice(s) directly next to the mayonaise on my bun/bread when making BLTs because I love when the tomato juice and mayonaise mix. You end up with this magical mixture that drips onto your plate, and tastes sooo good when your bread is dipped into it.

Kitchenaid 60-Minute Dinner Rolls
makes 24 rolls

1/2 cup fat-free skim milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
7 teaspoons instant yeast (roughtly 3 packages of dry active yeast)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105F – 115F)
6 cups all-purpose flour (I used half all-purpose and half bread flour, because I ran out of AP)
In a small saucepan, stir milk, sugar, salt and butter together. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool until lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar in warm water in a warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture, and using a dough hook, mix on low speed for about 1 minute. With the mixer still going, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 1 1/2 minutes, or until dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl. Knead on low speed for about 2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic – the dough will still be slightly sticky to the touch. If needed, knead by hand for an additional minute to make sure all incredients are well combined and do is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turning it to grease the top. Cover the dough with a clean, dry dish towel, and let it rise in a warm place, free from draft, for about 15 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 24 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, and place in two greased 9x13 pans. (I'm sure you could also bake these on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet as well.) Cover the pans with dish towels, and let the dough rise for about 15 minutes.
Bake at 425ºF for 12 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter (2 tablespoons is perfect for 24 rolls), then return them to the oven for an additional minute. Remove the rolls from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.
Once completely cool, store in an air-tight container. You can also freeze the rolls, if desired. Place them on baking sheets in the freezer until hard, then place them in a zip lock bag and return to the freezer for up to a month (trust me, they won't last that long). These can be quickly and deliciously reheated straight from the freezer by heating in the microwave on high for 20 seconds-30 seconds.
You could certainly half or fourth the recipe.

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