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Rolling with the punches February 10, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in baking, Cooking Light, Food.

Can I be honest for a minute?

PhotobucketMy life philosophy has pretty much always been “fat equals flavor.”  Well, that, and “everything good is better with butter.”  That last one kind of has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Mmmm. . . butter.

Obviously, I’ve always kind of avoided “light” cooking.  After all, I was raised in the Dairy State – and I grew up in farming country.  Butter, cheese, whole milk, lard – those things keep people in business!

PhotobucketUnfortunately, while my taste for butter has remained unchanged, I no longer have the lifestyle – or the metabolism! – that I had once upon a time.

I’ve resisted the call of “light” or, worse yet, fat-free products – as a rule, I’d rather practice moderation than subject myself to rubbery non-fat cheese or gray skim milk.  (Actually, I’d rather jab myself with a sharp stick than turn to non-fat cheese or skim milk.)

PhotobucketBut, you know what?  I’m not so good at moderation sometimes.  Obviously, I’ve got to do something different.   Hoping to lose weight just doesn’t work so well, it turns out.

So.  A lifestyle change, rather than a diet.

We’ve been subscribing to Cooking Light magazine for about a year now.  And all in all, we’re pretty impressed by it.  For one thing, the recipes generally call for real ingredients – they’re never going to tell me use a sugar substitute (what is that stuff made of, anyway?) or go without the good stuff.  For the most part, the recipes seem to be re-worked versions of fairly traditional dishes – not “diet” food, but actual real food for actual real people.

PhotobucketBuried in the back of December’s issue was a “recipe makeover” – they actually made over (are you sitting down?) BRIOCHE.  That classic French loaf that’s typically described and “rich and buttery.”

And Cooking Light has, um, enlightened it.

We weren’t so sure what we thought of that, so we took a look at the recipe.

Nothing weird – yeast, milk, eggs, sugar, butter – it had all the regular bread stuff – just maybe not as much.

PhotobucketCould work.  So we tried it.

And technically, yes, it did work.  We made two dozen nicely rich, kind of buttery dinner rolls, and, honestly, none of them went to waste!

Did they taste like true brioche?

Well. . . yes and no.  They tasted like, maybe, a cousin to brioche.  Close cousins, sure, but a cousin all the same.

Is that a bad thing?  No, not really.

I mean, according to the Cooking Light article, the classic recipe has 524 calories and over 27 grams of fat per serving.  (Yes, that’s twenty-seven.)  The lighter version has 128 calories and fewer than 5 grams of fat.

PhotobucketNow I’m sure they’re playing the “smaller portion size makes fewer calories” game – but I find it hard to believe that the portion size is a quarter of the original.

These make a very nice dinner roll – not necessarily something you’d want to eat every day, but certainly nice for an occasion – a holiday or dinner party.

They’re light and flaky, with a nice buttery flavor, but not so rich that you can’t enjoy the rest of the meal.

I’m sure they’d be fantastic as the “bread” portion of cinnamon rolls.


For us, though – well, two dozen is an awful lot of rolls for two people.  We froze half the recipe after shaping into rolls but before baking, and that worked out fine, though really, a dozen rolls is still a bit much.

Though one is quite nice with a morning fruit smoothie.

Next time, though?

I think I’ll bake them in the jumbo muffin tins and use them for burgers.  Now THAT will be amazing!

Printable Recipe from Cooking Light

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