Robyn's Favorite Rolls
I remember growing up my mom's rolls were always my favorite part of our holiday and Sunday meals. There are very few things that are as good as fresh warm baked bread, and these rolls are the star of the show. Flaky. soft. Buttery. What more could you ask for.
If you are looking for healthy, probably not the recipe for you. These will definitely be the best thing you eat at your holiday dinners through.
The heart and soul of Bread is the yeast, it's how our bread rises so that it gets an airy lift that makes us keep coming back for more. This is the yeast that I remember always seeing my mom use, its the brand I have grown to trust and reach for every time I bake. It always produces the best and consistent results. It comes in a large brick, that I transfer to a metal storage bin and keep in my fridge. One brick will last me a year depending on how often I bake.
Preheat Oven to 170 F.
If you haven't used a instant yeast before we need to activate it. Put the yeast in the mixer bowl with warm water and honey, and stir gently. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
Pro Tip: We want our water to be warm like a babies bath. Yeast likes the warm water to grow, but get it too hot and you can kill the yeast.
Pro Tip: I use honey because I like the way that it tastes in my bread and yeast activates with honey more consistently than sugar.
Pro Tip: Spray your measuring spoon with cooking spray before measuring honey, the honey will slide right out of it instead of you having to scrape it.
Our yeast mixture will start to bubble and foam , that's when you know its active, the yeast starts to produce a gas, and that comes out in the form of bubbles and foam. If it doesn't then you will have to start this step over.
While we wait for our yeast mixture to activate we are going to create the part of this recipe that makes it different from almost every other bread recipe out there.
Combine your milk, sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. I stand and stir the butter in and wait for it to begin to melt. As soon as it begins to melt I remove from heat and transfer to a metal bowl and place in a sink of cold water. We have to cool this mixture back down. If we add it while too hot it will kill our yeast and our bread won't rise.
I turn my oven off at this point and open the door. I just want the oven to create a warm environment to raise my dough, I don't want it to be hot.
Our Yeast should be nice and bubbly and our milk mixture should be warm to the touch but not hot. Combine them both into the mixer.
Add 3 cups of the Bread flour in my mixer and begin mixing, scraping the sides to make sure that all of the flour gets mixed in.
Pro tip: The reason for Bread flour instead of All-Purpose Flour is Bread flour contains more gluten, more gluten means more chewy bread! Yum! Step 4:
Add the beaten Eggs slowly to our mixer.
Pro tip: Why beaten eggs? this helps make it so our eggs get mixed in more evenly.
Slowly add more flour one cup at a time. The amount will depend on how much moisture is in the atmosphere that day. On more dry days you may only add 7-8 Cups on a more humid day you will probably use the full 9. I add flour until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides, but only starting to pull up from the bottom. This dough is much more sticky than other bread dough I have made. If we add too much flour it will be more dense, and these rolls are nice and fluffy, so we don't want too much flour.
We need to knead the flour, and I prefer to let the mixer do this, others prefer to knead by hand. I set my mixer on a low setting and let it knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough will come together and will have a smooth stretchy consistency.
Pro tip: Kneading is the foundation to creating gluten bonds, and as I described above, more gluten means more chewy softness! We all want that in our bread!
We need to let our bread rise, for the first time. Once its nice and kneaded, I take my dough out. Because this dough is so sticky I transfer it to another bowl for rising. I spray my other bowl with cooking spray to help it not stick, and then place the dough in the bowl. I cover lightly with a piece of plastic wrap that has also been sprayed with the cooking spray. I want the plastic wrap to keep the dough moist but give when the dough rises above the bowl, and I don't want it to stick to the dough when I take it off.
I put the whole thing on a cookie sheet (this is a precaution, I don't want my dough rising out of the bowl and falling out the sides into the oven) and place in my oven, its still slightly warm, but only slightly not hot at all, and close the door to wait for it to rise.
Get a stick of butter out of the fridge, cut about 4-6 Tbsp onto a plate and let it sit to bring to room temp, set the rest aside for later.
Intermission Go Play for 1 Hour while we wait for our dough to rise.
When we come back our dough should be risen high and puffing out of our bowl. I take the plastic wrap off and punch it down and remove from the bowl. Kneading it once or twice to bring it back together into a ball.
Turn your oven back on to 170 to warm it back up.
Cut the big ball of dough into 4 equal parts.
We are going to shape our rolls. I really like the crescent shape and it allows me to add butter to the center of each roll, which is a big part of why these rolls are to die for.
Sprinkle your counter with flour to keep the dough from sticking.
Take one of the 4 pieces of dough and roll it out into a circle. Don't worry if it is perfect, mine rarely are.
Then take a couple of pieces of the butter we set out and warm in your hand and smear it evenly over the entire surface of dough.
Cut your circle in quarters then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. so you have 12 pieces.
Turn your oven off and open the door again, we aren't baking yet, just prepping to raise the rolls again.
Roll each piece from the outside (largest side) in (the narrowest side)
On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet place each roll, you should be able to fit 24 rolls, 3 in each row in 8 rows. This recipe will fill 2 sheets. Once you have the sheet filled, cover with plastic wrap that we spray again with cooking spray. We are going to let our rolls raise again and want to keep them nice and moist.
Intermission Part 2
Let the Rolls rise for about 45 minutes in our warm oven.
Once the Rolls are nice and plump take them out of the oven and Preheat your oven to 350F
Bake each sheet 1 at a time on the middle rack for 15 minutes at 350F.
Pro tip: Baking one sheet at a time will make sure that they each get even heat and that the bottom rack doesn't get too close to the heat and bake the bottom too much, no body wants burnt bottom rolls.
When the rolls are done they will have begun to brown and will be hard when you tap them with your finger.
Pull them out of the oven and take a whole stick of butter and gently rub onto the top of the hot rolls.
If you won't be eating right away cover the rolls with a clean kitchen towel until you will be serving.
To store these rolls, place in big zip lock bags, you can freeze them to warm individually in the microwave, or eat through the week.
These rolls make great cinnamon rolls, option turn 1 sheet into cinnamon rolls instead of 24 dinner rolls. Maybe in the future I will show your how I do this.
Prep time: 3 hours
Bake at 350 for 15 min
2 C. Milk
½ C. sugar
1/3 C. (5 1/3 Tbsp) Butter
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp Honey
2/3 C. warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 C.Bread flour
3 beaten eggs
2 Sticks of Butter set aside