After receiving a couple of messages asking for a recipe for these beauties:
I decided a quick post was in order so I could share it with all of you!
I should warn you however, the recipe is more of a guideline for me than actual rules for baking bread. I often fiddle with how much liquid/flour I use or how long I let them rise, constantly trying to prefect.
One day I might only let the first rise happen for 45minutes and the next day I might let it rise for 1hr+! It's all about the way it looks and feels. This also means I may not use all the dry mixture or I may even add a bit of extra flour if I feel it needs it. So feel free to fiddle!
The following recipe is my Grandmothers Dinner Roll recipe - always a huge hit in our house and at family gatherings. It's gotten to the point that if these little treasures don't make it to the plate that it feels like something is missing! Brings reality to the saying 'savour the little things' :)
Nan's Dinner Rolls
- 3/4c. Milk
- 1/4c. water
- 1/4c. butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 + 3/4c. Bread Flour (or all purpose if you're in a pinch)
- 2 tblsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp of active dry yeast (I also sometimes use instant yeast/bread machine yeast... just because I'm a kitchen rebel)
- In a saucepan add the milk, water and butter together. Heat over low/med heat until the butter is JUST melted and the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. If the mixture is too hot it will kill the yeast so this is THE most important step to master. Too cold and the yeast will not activate. (A bit of "damned if you do and damned if you don't" isn't it?!) If you feel that your mixture is a little too hot simply transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave it for 5 minutes or so until it cools down (been there done that!).
- Transfer lukewarm milk/water/butter mixture to large mixing bowl and stir the sugar. Once the sugar is desolved, sprinkle the yeast onto the surface of the mixture and leave for 5-6 minutes to activate. After this time, the yeast should look creamy and slightly bubbly if you're using the active dry yeast. FUN FACT: The sugar will help feed the yeast :)
- While waiting for your yeast, in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Pour half of the dry mixture into the liquid mix in the large bowl. Add the egg. Vigorously stir the ingredients together until they have combined. Add more of the dry mixture (handfuls at a time) to the large mixing bowl until the dough starts to come away from the sides and can no longer be mixed with a spoon. In other words, the dough is too thick to work with a spoon now and you need to use those two hands God gave you! Time to get dirty!
- On a flat surface sprinkled with flour (don't forget to flour your hands too!), kneed your dough (adding more of your dry mixture little by little) for 7-10 minutes until you can easily form a ball and the dough is not overly sticky to the touch and is smooth and free of dry floury lumps.
- Place the dough into a large greased bowl and lightly grease the top of the dough as well. Place a tea towel over the top and let rise in a warm place for 45mins-1hr, until the dough has more than doubled in size. The longer you let your dough rise the lighter the final product will be.
- After this time, punch the dough and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- To make the rolls you cut palm size chunks from the dough and either (a) form them into small balls and place into medium sized greased muffin baking sheet. Don't over work the dough when making the balls. If they're not perfect no worries! OR (b) form them into little knots like the picture above. Start by greasing a large cookie sheet. Then cut palm size chunks of dough and roll them in your hand to make it cylindrical. Roll them out until the dough is no longer than the length of your hand. Tie into knots and place on the cookie sheet. Spacing at 1/2 an inch each. No matter which method you use, let rise for 45mins-1.25hrs or until doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.
- Let cool on a cooling rack and using a paper towel to lightly butter the tops of the buns while they are still hot. This is best done as soon as it's been taken from the oven and placed on the cooling rack. DO NOT WAIT! The butter will be absorbed by the bread and create a lusciously soft exterior.
Makes 12-14 rolls.
NOTE: Because this mixture contains milk and eggs it will only be good in a sealed bag on the counter for a couple of days. I recommend freezing any extras after this time. These rolls hold up excellently in the freezer. Once thawed and reheated you'd never know that they weren't fresh from the oven!
Until next time!