The backstory of my bread making
[This recipe is one of the most popular ones on this blog. I posted it four years ago and am re-posting it today because I know that new readers have probably not seen it yet. This is a keeper, for sure!]
I grew up in a home with a bakery attached to the kitchen. My mother had a bread business; she mixed and baked sixty pounds of dough (two-pound loaves) at a time. She sold bread, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls to stores in town. We had all the homemade bread we ever wanted, and the only store-bought buns we used were for sandwiches like hot dogs and hamburgers. I could mix up sixty pounds of dough in my sleep, but I never made smaller batches until after I was married.
The backstory of this easy dinner roll recipe
My sister Alice shared this recipe with me when I got married. She got it from a cousin Lila who got it from her mother Lela. I called Lela (who is not living now and was in her 90s then); she didn’t remember the recipe or where she got it. So there you have it. We can just give it any name we’d like!
When I mix up these easy dinner rolls, I don’t usually use a recipe anymore; I just throw things into the mixer. But then, I’ve been making this recipe for thirty years. I don’t suppose you’ll need a recipe to follow when you’ve made it that long, either.
Sometimes I add part wheat flour and sometimes I just use white flour. It depends on who will be eating the rolls. It also depends on how health-conscious I am feeling at the time.
90 minutes from start to finish
You can mix these up and serve them one-and-a-half hours later. I’ve done it in less time than that, and when that happens, my girls call them “hormone rolls”. If you add a little extra yeast, have the bowl for the rising dough warmed up, then warm the pans you will be baking them in, you can do it in just over sixty minutes. You can also turn the oven light on and let the dough rise in the oven. The temperature from the light and the enclosed oven will create a warm environment.
Six ingredients, that’s all you need: water, sugar, salt, yeast, vegetable oil and bread flour.
Go ahead. Knead away.
Come dinner time, you’ll be glad you did.
A Few Tips:
- be sure your water for dissolving the yeast is not too hot or too cold. If it’s too hot, you will kill the yeast, and the bread won’t rise. If it’s too cold, it won’t dissolve properly and the yeast will not be able to do its job
- you can decrease the sugar, but you’ll want to add some sugar with the yeast because that helps with the action of the yeast
- if you want to add wheat flour, add it first; remember that it won’t take quite as much flour if you are using wheat flour.
- be sure to cover your dough while it is rising; don’t allow cold air or drafts to hit it, or it will take much longer to rise
- don’t do strenuous exercise in a room near your kitchen while your dough/rolls are rising; it will cause the dough/rolls to “fall”. [Ask me how I know!]
- 1½ cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4-6 cups bread flour
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water
- Add vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups flour to the yeast mixture
- Mix together for two minutes
- Add 2-4 cups flour until the dough is soft.
- Let rise until double, then shape into balls
- Put into greased pan or cookie sheet
- Let rise until double
- Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.
- Remove from oven and brush tops with butter