My obsession with borrowing cookbooks from my library has expanded to include magazines. Last time I was there I discovered they had issues of Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking and more and I was thrilled! Needless to say I grabbed way more issues than I could possible hope to read in the 3 weeks they give me.

We were having a boring dinner tonight (read leftovers) so I decided to make some homemade bread and figured it would be a good time to break open the magazines from the library. In particular, I’d borrowed an issue of Gourmet which included recipes for several different types of rolls. I found these buttermilk fantails, which both sounded delicious and took care of the leftover buttermilk in my fridge! I was sold.

The cool thing about these rolls is that they look fancy but they’re really easy to shape. I’ve included some photos of the process below because I found that the photos in the magazine really helped me to verify I understood the written instructions properly. The lighting is pretty awful as it was dark and dreary in my kitchen this afternoon but you’ll get the point :) In the end, these rolls were great! They taste like buttermilk biscuits but they’re soft like rolls instead of being flaky. They’re fun to eat too because you can pull them apart along the seams for perfect bite-sized pieces. I wrapped the leftover rolls and stuck them in the freezer for another night and am definitely looking forward to having them again!

Buttermilk Fantails
from Gourmet, February 2009

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
2 tsp active dry yeast (I used instant yeast)
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 F)
1 tablespoon mild honey or sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Stir together yeast, water and honey (or sugar) in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt, buttermilk and 6 tablespoons of melted butter to the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Use just enough flour to dust surface and your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

When the dough has almost finished rising, butter the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and then halve it. Keep one half covered with plastic wrap and roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square (about 1/8-inch thick). Brush the dough with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter and then cut into 6 strips, each about 2 inches wide. Stack the strips, buttered sides up, and then cut the stack into 6 equal pieces. Turn each piece on its side and put into a muffin cup. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough to yield a total of 12 rolls. Separate the outer layers of each roll to fan outward.


Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and let them rise in a draft-free place until doubled (the dough should fill the muffin cups), about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 375 F.

Bake the rolls until they are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter when they come out of the oven and then transfer them to a rack to cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 rolls.