My husband begs for these dinner rolls. They are light, fluffy, buttery, and kind of amazing. I like them because I can make the dough up and let them do the rising during church, so they make the perfect Sunday dinner complement. Basically, it’s a win-win situation!
Thanksgiving is also on my mind, and these happen to be my favorite part of the meal (other than mashed potatoes and gravy!). We always have freezer strawberry jam and the combination of fresh strawberry taste and fluffy melt-in-your-mouth bread kind of makes my Thanksgiving feast.
The best part of these are that they are so simple to make – taking less than two hours from start to finish (most of that is rising and baking time). They’re practically impossible to mess up and your result will get oohs and aahs from the admiring masses.
This took me a long time to figure out, but the secret to good yeast bread is not killing your yeast right off the bat. I spent years thinking yeast bread was impossible, when I was really just putting my yeast into too hot water and scalding it. This is why I recommend investing in a good kitchen thermometer. I just use my husband’s meat thermometer (well washed, of course) to check the water temperature and nip the whole yeast murder thing in the bud.
The easiest way to tell if you’re in business with the yeast is to combine it with the water and milk, then wait 5 minutes. If it froths up (called proofing), then you’re on your way. If not, better start over.
Once you’ve got your yeast all proofed and ready, add the sugar, salt, flour, egg, and melted butter. With the flour, start by adding two cups, then mix everything together. Add the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough is only slightly sticky. Like this:
Now you’ll turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes. I usually end up kneading for about three minutes. You’re looking for a smooth dough that stretches. Just a tip: I put my silicon baking sheet down and knead on that. It makes clean up so easy!
The dough goes into a bowl that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl and place it somewhere warm (the top of my dryer is favorite) and leave it for an hour. The dough will double in size. A neat trick someone taught me is to press the dough. If the indentation stays, the dough is ready.
Now you get to shape your rolls. I pinch off a section, then form it into a smooth circle and plop it onto a baking sheet. The rolls need to rise for another 20 minutes. Once they’ve risen, you can brush them with butter or an egg wash, or leave them as they are.
Pop them in the oven and bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until the tops are golden. Eat them while warm with just a little melted butter. Sooooooo good!