October 2, 2010

What's Cookin': Yeast Rolls

Once upon a time, before my great-grandmother Lola was too terribly crazy and senile, she would make yeast rolls. And they weren't just yeast rolls. These were Bust-Your-Gut-From-Eating-So-Many-Because-You-Just-Had-To-Have-One-More Yeast Rolls. And you generally were too full to eat dinner once the yeast rolls came out of the oven.

I remember many times when I was a girl and she would let me make them with her. It's one of the few nice memories I have of her. (She's still alive, she's just a little... grumpier.) They were buttery and delicious, warm from the oven. I loved making rolls with her.

When I got married she gave me a mish mash of a few items. An old measuring cup (that is my favorite) and a used cutting board, some random knives, a few cookbooks... And the recipe for her wonderful yeast rolls. In the year before we had our babies, I didn't really cook much from scratch, and sort of had a fear of making bread. So the recipe was put away, and it stayed put away through three babies and two moves. I would think about it every once in awhile in a "Hmm, I should make those one day" sort of way, but never really got around to digging it out.

This last Wednesday my baby brother turned 15. (He's going to hate me for calling him "baby brother", hehe). Ben and I did a BBQ for him, which involves Tri-tip (I think y'all in other places call it brisket), marinated veggies, and usually a loaf or two of french bread simply dressed up with butter, garlic powder and seasoning.

Well, this time I had forgotten to get the French bread and I wasn't going back to the store for just that. So I thought I would make some french bread. No, too much work and I had too much cleaning to do. So then thought, biscuits. Eh. I do them a lot. Dinner rolls? Yeah, that would work... Hey! I have that recipe for Grandma's Yeast Rolls!

So the recipe was dug out. It's a commercial printed card, but it's the same recipe she used. They tasted just as I remember. Warm, buttery and soft. Melt in your mouth goodness. I've changed the recipe slightly from it's printed version to fit the way in which I bake. For example, the recipe says to proof the yeast in the bowl and add the other ingredients into it. I prefer proof my yeast in a separate bowl and pour it into the other ingredients. But they turned out the same either way.

A note on using a mixer verses your hands/arms: The part that says "beat in flour until dough is too stiff to mix" is hard to tell in a mixer. I've made these rolls twice in the past two days, both with my mixer, and both times they turned out well with the 4 1/2 C. It will be a sticky dough. If you are unsure, you could add 3 cups with the mixer and do the last bit by hand.

So here, for you, is the recipe passed from my Great Grandmother Lola to me. Enjoy!

Yeast Rolls - makes 24
1 C warm water
5 tsp yeast
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 C sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp salt (original calls for 1 tsp, but I like the extra flavor)
4 -4 1/2 C AP flour
Additional melted butter for tops, if desired

Combine the yeast, warm water and 1 Tbs of the sugar in a bowl or measuring cup. Allow to soften and foam, about 5 minutes.

In another large bowl, or in your mixer bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Pour in yeast mixture. Beat in flour, one cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 4 days. (This makes them a great make ahead recipe.)

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. (Or just use whatever pans you have. We used to use pizza pans too.) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 24 equal pieces. Roll them, place into the baking pan, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Brush warm rolls with butter if desired.

Happy Eating!


Farm Girl said...

They look wonderful! That is a neat story so maybe you can bring the rolls next time, we have a big dinner, not tomorrow but like Thanksgiving or something. I am still wondering what I am going to cook all I know is that I am making peanut butter brownie pie for dessert.

Meg said...

Hey, I'd be down for eating just that for dinner...

Lynn said...

I LOVE yeast rolls, especially the tried-and-true recipes from grandmas. Thanks so much for sharing this. I do cheat and use a bread machine :) but even so, there is nothing quite like home-made rolls. Printing this recipe out and hope to try it soon.

Lynn said...

I made your rolls the other day and they were absolutely outstanding! I hope you don't mind if I link to them? They are just too good not to share :)

Rita said...

Just discovered you and printed out this recipe; thanks so much.

Lisa said...

I just found your blog after seeing your recipe on queen of the castle's site. I love that this doesn't have to be kneaded and that it doesn't even require rising time. This looks like a real winner. I'll have to give them a try.

Cassandra said...

This website has posted your photo and recipe as their own https://www.facebook.com/TheWhitmoreCafe
We are trying to get them shutdown they have stolen a lot of recipes from other blogs as well.

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