Best Christmas Dinner Rolls
Christmas Baking Memories
There is nothing so delightful as coming into a warm home out of the cold, and having your nose gently carressed by the delicious smell of baking bread. Your mouth waters as you imagine butter melting into the soft, fragrant warmth of bread after it comes out of the oven.
The next day, you can hardly wait to have another piece of bread, slathered in soft butter and warm honey. By suppertime you are ready for more, but the bread is gone. Now, only a memory remains and you wait impatiently for the next time you come into the warm house, to be enveloped by the fragrance of baking bread.
The following recipe has been in our family for years. A close friend shared the recipe, and since her name was Heidi, my family has always called them Heidi Rolls. Heidi brought these rolls to our first shared Christmas dinner, and they reappeared at Easter, and other special occasions.
They are so good that I began making them weekly, to use alongside chili dinners, home made soup, and even for sandwhiches.
Even while living in south Texas, during the heat of the hottest summer of my life, I made these delicious rolls every week. The family tradition continues, as my kids learn how to make Heidi Rolls. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Yeast Rolls Made Easy
Heidi's Christmas Rolls
2 cups milk, warm (warm to the touch, not boiling)
2 packages dry yeast (not quick rise)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter melted
6 1/2 - 7 cups flour (if you want to make whole wheat rolls, use half wheat flour)
Dissolve yeast in warm milk, let sit until bubbly (about 10 minutes). Stir in sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.
Gradually stir in about 5 cups flour. As the dough begins to get sticky, slowly add only a little flour, until it sticks together in a soft ball. Turn out the dough onto the counter, using the remaining flour to dust the counter top. (You should have about one cup of flour on your counter, with a blob of dough in the middle.)
Knead the dough, until most of the rest of the flour is incorporated. This takes about 7 minutes of consistent kneading. Lightly oil a large oven proof bowl, and turn dough into bowl, turning to cover dough lightly with oil. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm oven. (Preheat the oven while you are mixing the dough, then shut it off before you begin kneading. This will be enough warmth to activate the yeast and proof the dough.)
Let dough rise until doubled, about one hour. After dough has risen, remove from oven, punch it down and let it rest about 5 minutes. While dough is resting grease cookie sheets and preheat oven to 350.
After dough rests, break it into balls about the size of a baseball. The finished rolls will be about twice the size of the dough. (Baseball sized balls of dough make great large dinner rolls, and are good for sandwhiches. Smaller balls are good for a lot of rolls and a big dinner, when you don't want too much bread! This recipe makes about 20 large dinner rolls.)
Place the rolls, not touching, on the prepared cookie sheets. Allow to rise another 30 minutes. Place in an oven, preheated to 350. Bake about 10 minutes, turn and rotate cookie sheets and bake 10 minutes longer. As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven, brush them with butter.
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