My 90-year old grandma makes homemade rolls. My mom has perfected them. I am practicing so my Easter Brunch will include the same soft, fluffy, warm homemade rolls.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll share my Easter Brunch menu ideas and some Easter decoration ideas, perhaps even edible decor -- think chocolate.
Homemade rolls are typically the last thing on my list.
- Homemade rolls are easily substituted. Why bake if you have a great local bakery? Store bought will do just fine.
- Time. When push comes to shove, a meal goes on without homemade rolls, but if you're missing the main dish, it may be time to hide.
So why move homemade rolls to the top of my list?
The STATUS symbol. A meal that is well timed with all the sides and entree coming to the table simultaneously AND a pan of rolls just coming out of the oven is worthy of an Oscar. It takes planning, mastery over yeast and rise time, and meal-prep management skills to rival a State Dinner.
I'm so far from having this "down" as a skill, I need all the practice I can get. My last batch of rolls was started 65 minutes before going out for a birthday dinner. Not only did I skip the 2-3 hour rise time, I ignored the 30-minute rise in the pan. No fluffy rolls for me. I shoved the remaining dough in the fridge and ignored it for two days.
I regrouped, found my happy, baking place and brought the dough out again. It wasn't dead!
Once it returned to room temperature, I rolled out another batch. I even let the dough rise the second time for almost the entire 30 minutes. I'm happy to say the results were much better this time, as evidenced by the snitches in the pan before I could take the photo. Add a pint of Strawberry Freezer Jam to your meal and you'll be the next one to walk down that red carpet.
Here's the time-tested recipe from my grandmother so you can start practicing too! Let me know how yours turn out!
Grandma Lora's Homemade Rolls Recipe
2 2/3 cup hot water
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages (2 tablespoons) yeast
2/3 cup dry, powdered milk
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour
3 cups flour (hand mix)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
In a large mixing bowl, add hot water and shortening. Melt the shortening in the hot water until. As water cools, add sugar, salt and yeast. Using a hand mixer on low, blend in powdered milk and beaten eggs. Gradually add 4 cups flour with the mixer. Add up to 3 more cups by spoon or by hand. Dough should be somewhat sticky but not hard. Allow dough to rise until double in size (2-3 hours). Roll out dough on a generously-floured surface to a 3/8-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (approx 3-inch diameter), cut out circles. Remove scraps and lightly tap the centers of each roll with a sharp knife to help it fold in half.
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Dip the bottom half of each circle in the butter and place on a baking sheet, folding over the top. Repeat with the next roll and dab the butter-soaked bottom of the second roll onto the top of the first roll. Finish placing and folding the second roll. Repeat until the pan is full, using dough scraps to butter the top of the last roll.
Allow cut rolls to rise in their pans for 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Makes 5-6 dozen pans or 3 baking sheets.
I can typically make half the recipe and get the rolls to fit tightly into one baking sheet. You can also use this recipe to make crescent-shaped rolls. Cut the rolled dough circle into wedges like a pizza and roll up from the wide end of the triangle to the tip. Curve as you place on the pan and brush with butter before allowing to rise again.
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