My adventures in bread baking began with dinner rolls when I was 12 or 13-years-old. Once I got the hang of it, dinner rolls became my responsibility for my family’s formal Sunday dinners. This responsibility has now been extended to include any family get-together. What this means is that I’ve seen and tested A LOT of dinner roll recipes. However, when I met this recipe, while living in student housing at the U of U – over 10 years ago, I instantly retired all of the others. This recipe is foolproof and delicious. Plus if there are any leftover, they can still be eaten the next day either plain or stacked with ham and cheese (or whichever meat you choose).
The rolls are mild and buttery without being overwhelmingly sweet or yeasty - just as rolls should be. The amount of yeast included is great for someone just starting out with yeasted breads because, so long as you don’t kill the yeast with hot milk or water, the dough will rise. As a beginner it’s important to have success early or you may never try to tackle yeasted breads again. Finally the addition of eggs, milk, and shortening, condition and stabilize the gluten so that the dough can rise to it’s maximum height without tearing. In short although the dough is great for beginners, the end result is so good, there will be no need to replace it with anything else.
2 tablespoons yeast
½ cup warm water
1½ cup milk
½ cup buttered flavored shortening
2 beaten eggs
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5-7 cups all-purpose flour
butter for basting
- In a small bowl completely dissolve yeast in water.
- Combine milk and shortening in a microwave safe dish and cook until shortening is almost entirely melted. (1 ½ - 3 minutes)
- With the flat beater attached, turn your stand mixer to low and beat eggs and sugar together. Next add dissolved yeast followed by salt and 1 cup of flour. Once the milk has cooled, add it to the dough.
- Add remaining flour to dough and mix until dough reaches the desired consistency (more water or flour my need to be used). Replace flat paddle with a dough hook and knead for 10 minutes.
- Shape dough into a round and place it into a large ungreased bowl. Cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let dough rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours (until double).
- Gently deflate dough then divide it into thirds and shape each third into a round.
- After dough has rested for 10 minutes, take one round, and with a rolling pin, roll it into a circle that is ¼-inch thick. With a pastry brush, brush on melted butter then with a pizza cutter, cut dough like a pizza into 8 or 12 equal portions.
- Roll dough into crescents by rolling the large end into the small end. Once rolled, pinch the pointy end of the roll into the rest of the roll so that it doesn't unroll when cooking.
- Place roll on a buttered cookie sheet (pinched side down) about 1” apart.
- Repeat steps 7 through 9 with remaining dough rounds.
- Let shaped rolls rise under a bread cloth for another 30-60 minutes. (If in a super hurry, this stage can be skipped-rolls will be denser.)
- Place rolls into 350 degree F preheated oven and bake for 15-22 minutes. If desired, baste with butter to soften tops.
- To make rolls in advance –Complete through step 10 however pack as many shaped rolls on the baking sheet as possible (it’s ok if they touch). Flash freeze dough in a freezer for 30 minutes, then remove from the baking sheet and place in a freezer safe container or Ziploc until ready to use.
- To thaw dough, place frozen dough on a buttered baking sheet (step 11) and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking oil and allow dough to rise, about 2-3 hours (the thaw/rise time of the rolls depends on the amount of time the rolls were in the freezer.) Once dough has risen, bake them in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15-22 minutes.