Those of you who are regular readers have no doubt noticed that I’ve been on a bit of a baking kick lately. Sandy doesn’t bake and my attempts years ago failed miserably, so we just never got into the baking side of food prep. All that changed when OoS convinced me to try making pizza dough at home.
You could say that I’ve experienced a food epiphany!
Shortly before the pizza dough, I read Julia Child’s autobiography and marveled in her attempts to make French bread that could be made with the ingredients we have here in North America. I finally summoned up the courage to look for a recipe yesterday. It turns out that it takes anywhere between 7 and 9 hours to make Mrs. Child’s bread. Not gonna happen!
Determined to make a bread product of some sort, I surfed. I came across a video recipe for dinner rolls, from a well known aggregator site that had been scooped up by another DIY site. Great video and great recipe. Sadly, neither site offers video embed code, so screw them. I’m not tellin’ ya where this came from! Besides, they didn’t actually provide a text version, so this is now MY recipe.
Now that I’ve blathered on to this point, I have no idea how to begin explaining how easy these rolls are, nor how absolutely freaking incredible they are. Let’s just say that another batch is rising in the kitchen as I type!
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups AP flour
teensy splooge of veggie oil
Place the yeast in a large mixing bowl and pour in the warm water. Make sure it is warm, not hot, as you will kill the yeast. Put it aside for a moment.
Combine milk and butter in a microwavable container and zap on high for 1 minute. If you don’t have a microwave, you can do it on the stove, but again you must be careful to make it warm, not hot.
Put the beaten egg, sugar, salt and 1 cup of flour into the mixing bowl with the yeast. Gently mix it up a bit with a fork.
Add in the milk & butter and continue mixing gently with the fork.
Add in another cup of flour and mix. Switch to a spatula now so you can incorporate the bits that are starting to stick to the sides.
Add the final cup of flour and mix until all of the dry bits are incorporated into the dough. At this point, the dough will be very soft and a bit sticky. Resist the temptation to add more flour at this point.
Lightly flour a work surface. I like to use a large cutting board, as it is easier to clean than the counter.
Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and sprinkle some flour on the top. Knead the dough for 6 or 7 minutes, sprinkling extra flour on only when it is really sticky.
Pour that splooge of oil into another large mixing bowl. Put the dough into the bowl and turn it over, so that the oil coats the ball. You do this so that the outside of the dough does not dry out and become a crust.
That is a lot of words, but at to this point you will have only spent about 10 or 12 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place it in a warm spot for an hour to an hour and a half. It will grow to roughly twice its original size.
Have a cocktail!
Place a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet so the rolls won’t stick. You could also use a Silpat, but if you have one, I doubt you are reading this!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Making sure that your work surface is lightly floured again, turn the ball out. You will notice that it is really light and soft feeling. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and then pat out into a somewhat rectangular shape about 6″ by 8″.
Using a knife, cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece gently between your hands, shaping it into a ball. Place the balls about 1″ apart on your baking tray.
Cover them with the towel again and let them rise again for 30-45 minutes.
Once the oven is ready, place your tray on the center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
When you take these out of the oven, you will find that you have absolutely the most incredible rolls. You might just eat them all at once!