Best Dinner Rolls Ever
The Delicious Smell of Baking Bread
There is nothing so delightful as coming into a warm home out of the cold, and having your nose gently caressed by the delicious smell of baking bread. Your mouth waters as you imagine butter melting into the soft, fragrant warmth of bread after it comes out of the oven.
The next day, you can hardly wait to have another roll, slathered in soft butter and warm honey. By suppertime, you are ready for more, but the bread is gone. Now, only a memory remains and you wait impatiently for the next time you come into the warm house, to be enveloped by the fragrance of baking rolls.
The following recipe has been in our family for years. A close friend shared the recipe, and since her name was Heidi, my family has always called them Heidi Rolls. Heidi brought these rolls to our first shared Christmas dinner, and they reappeared at Easter, and other special occasions.
They are so good that I began making them weekly, to use alongside chili dinners, homemade soup, and even for sandwiches.
Even while living in south Texas, during the heat of the hottest summer of my life, I made these delicious rolls every week. The family tradition continues, as my kids learn how to make Heidi Rolls. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Do Not Fear Yeast Breads
Oftentimes, we cooks shy away from yeast breads. The kneading. The rising. The falling. It all seems confusing, difficult and time-consuming.
Have no fear. These rolls are simple to make and nearly fail-proof.
Some tips for success when making yeast-raised breads:
- Make sure the liquids are warm: The liquid, whether you use milk or water, should be warm (not hot) to the touch.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm liquid: Dissolving the yeast in warm liquid brings the yeast cultures to life, so they can grow, creating gases that cause your bread to rise.
- Use a light hand with the flour: Use just a little less flour than the recipe calls for. If you use too much flour, the dough will be dense and dry and will not rise properly. You can always add more flour to sticky dough during the kneading.
- Knead until you have a firm ball: Make sure to thoroughly knead the dough. This creates elasticity in the flour by stretching the gluten fibers. Under-kneading will result in dense, heavy bread or rolls.
- 2 packages dry yeast, not quick rise
- 2 cups milk, warm to the touch but not hot
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 6 1/2 to 7 cups flour (substitute 1/2 whole wheat flour if you'd like)
- olive oil, for oiling bowl
- Sprinkle yeast over warm milk. Let sit about ten minutes, until bubbly. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Stir sugar, melted butter, salt and egg into warm milk.
- Gradually stir about 5 cups flour into milk mixture. Slowly add more flour until dough makes a sticky ball. Turn oven off.
- Put remaining flour on counter, and turn dough onto the flour. There will be about one cup of flour on the counter, with dough in the middle. Knead the dough until the remainder of flour is incorporated and dough forms a stiff ball, that springs back when poked.
- Lightly oil the inside of an oven-proof bowl and add dough. Turn dough completely, until it is lightly coated with olive oil.
- Cover dough with a damp cloth and place in warm oven. Make sure the oven is warm, but turned off. Let dough rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
- Remove dough from oven, remove cloth, and punch down. Let dough rest about ten minutes.
- Form dough into balls, about two inches in diameter, and place on greased cookie sheet. Allow rolls to rise about half an hour.
- While rolls are rising on the counter, preheat oven to 350 degrees. When rolls have risen, place them in the oven for ten minutes. Rotate pans and bake another ten minutes. After removing golden rolls from the oven, brush lightly with butter.
How did you like them?
Make Ahead the Day Before
To save time during busy meal preparations, the dough can be prepared a day in advance, and the dough stored in the refrigerator. Make dough to the first rising stage. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator. This will slow the growth of the yeast.
In the morning (or about an hour-and-a-half before your meal) remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a warm, damp cloth.
Allow dough to finish rising in a warm, draft free area.
Then bake as directed.
Yeast Rolls Made Easy
© 2010 Deborah Demander Reno