The Secret of Baking Rolls
Honeymama taught me two secrets to making good rolls.
(1) She dissolved the yeast in warm water first and waited till the water bubbled slightly to make sure the yeast was good. If the water is too hot it can kill the yeast and the bread won't rise. And believe me if you knead it by hand you do NOT want to kill the yeast so that all your work if for nothing..
(2) She added water or flour to the dough as she kneaded it until the dough, when you patted it gently, felt just like (and I quote here) "just like a baby's butt". If you don't know what that feels like, I do not suggest you go round looking for a baby's but to pat, unless you want to do prison time. The texture is firm and not quite sticky.
(3) Always allow the rolls time to rise fully. Don't be impatient. You can make them the night before, let them rise a little, then keep them in the fridge overnight. Set them out in a warm place early in the morning and let them rise well before baking.
The rest it pretty much straightforward. With practice you can get creative, but for the first few times stick to the recipe.
- 1 1/2 packages Dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons Water
- 3/4 cup Evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup Warm (not hot) water
- 6 tablespoons Brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 cups White flour
- 2 cups Whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup Wheat germ
- Mix together warm water and yeast. Stir it up and let it sit until the yeast begins to bubble slightly
- In a dry bowl, combine all dry ingredients
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs, then combine with all the wet incredients including the yeast and water.
- Mix and knead until it forms dough. Continue kneading for ten to fifteen minutes. Trust me when I say this, you'll want a stand mixer if you do this very often and make sure it comes with a dough hook. Leave it running for 10 to 15 minutes adding flour or water till the texture is correct (see baby's butt above).
- When kneading is complete, let the dough stand in a warm place to rise, Then punch down the dough and pinch off handfuls off dough. Cup your hand over each dough ball and push it around in circles betwee your thumb and fingers to form a smooth bal about two inches apart.
- Spray a roll or cake pan with cooking spray. Place the dough balls in the pan so that their sides are not quite touching. Set the pans of unbaked rolls in a warm place to rise. When their sides are touching and tops are above the edge of the pan, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the oven is heated up, place the rolls in the oven to bake.
- Brush the top of the rolls with butter just before the tops turn brown. Let bake till a nice golden brown on top.
- Remove rolls from the oven and turn out onto a plate. Cover with a hand towel and let them cool. Eat just one with butter even if hot just-baked bread isn't supposed to be good for you. It's good for your soul if nothing else.