Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dinner Rolls

It's quite possible you have hiding in your fridge some Rhodes bread rolls just waiting for the big day. It's possible that you have cans of crescent rolls instead.

Or your family could be like mine, where the dinner rolls are more popular than the turkey or the candied yams put together.

Meet Ruby. She's going to help me demonstrate how to make the best dinner rolls on the planet.
She's brought some friends along to help. She's a bit bossy and vain though, so you have to watch out for her. Dress yours up in her spiral bread hook and pouring shield.

To start: dump 7 cups of flour, 2 T yeast, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c powdered milk, and 2 t salt in your mixer bowl. That is 2 T of yeast, not two packages. You will need to buy your yeast in a bulk package like a jar. They are sometimes labeled "bread machine yeast" just because you measure bread machine recipes by volume as well.

ok, Tangent over. Mix those dry ingredients together. Next, measure 2 1/2 c warm water, about 120 degrees. It needs to be a little warm for this mix method. While the mixer is running, slowly pour the water into the mixer. Then add 2 eggs and 1/2 of soft butter. The butter needs to be spread-ably soft, softer than you would usually use in baking.

After a few minutes your bread will look like this:
It's almost ready, but still needs a bit more flour. I added 1/2 c at this point. Yours may not need that. It depends on how you measure your flour.

Here it is after about 5 minutes of kneading. Notice how the dough has pulled away from the side of the pan. It's now very elastic and somewhat sticky.

It's sticking to my fingers here but when I pulled away there was very little dough on my hands. This is still a little bit soft, but I stopped here because I didn't want to over do the flour.

Spray a big bowl with cooking spray and put your bread dough in it. cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn't form a skin on top. Set aside in a warm place to rise until double. Like this:

Dump your dough onto a floured counter top. Mine was still sticky, so I used quite a bit of flour. If your dough is not sticky at all at this point, you can use cooking spray at this point on the counter instead so you don't get too much flour in your dough.

Knead the dough into a smooth ball, then cut into three equal balls of dough.
Roll each ball out into a large circle, between 12 and 15" in diameter. Spread with about 3T of very soft butter. (ahem. Yes, more butter. In case you didn't know, diet season is officially between Jan 1 and November 20. We're in maintenance season right now. This means more butter. You're welcome.)

Cut the circle into twelve equal pieces. You can pretend that those are all equal triangles. The equal thing is more of a guideline. Don't panic if you have some big ones and some little ones. It will be just fine.

Now take one triangle of dough and roll it up from wide end toward the point.
(Please excuse my lack of a manicure. I don't spend money on my hands. And yes those are the hands of a grown woman, not a 12 year old boy. Buying gloves is no fun.)

Roll that triangle until the point is on the bottom and then stop. Like this:

Isn't it cute? Now do the other 35. Lay them out so they touch on a greased baking sheet. Mine is commercial sized, so it fits all 36 rolls.
Let them rise for another 15 minutes or so. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Like this:

Hungry yet? Those have been brushed with more butter. You can skip that, but I have no idea why you would want to.

I am. I have to save those for tonight's dinner with the in-laws though. It's torture.

Dinner Rolls

7 cups flour
2 T yeast
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c powdered milk
2 t salt
2 1/2 c water
2 eggs
1/2 c butter

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. While the mixer is running, slowly pour in the water, then add eggs and butter. Continue mixing for about 5-10 more minutes. The dough will pull away from the side of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic, tacky but not too sticky. Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place. Dump out onto a floured work surface, kneading a few times to form a smooth ball of dough. Divide into three portions. Roll each portion out into a 12"-15" diameter circle. Spread with 3T of very soft butter. Cut into twelve equal triangles. Roll each triangle from wide end to point, leaving the point on the bottom of the roll. Place the rolls so they touch on a greased baking sheet. Let rise for 15 more minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until rolls are golden brown. Brush with butter while hot.

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