My second favorite Thanksgiving food, after my mom’s dressing, is rolls. Usually, I buy Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, let them thaw and rise, pop them into the oven and feel very impressed by my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast. (Well, one year I purchased premade rolls from the grocery store along with a premade pie and brought it to my mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. Let’s just say that my offering did not pass muster. I redeemed myself the next year with a tray of Rhodes rolls fresh from the oven.)
Last year I decided to make homemade rolls. I searched for a recipe on Thanksgiving morning and gave it a whirl. I don’t remember what happened, maybe I burned them or they didn’t rise, but I had to make new ones that were finished right before everyone sat down to eat. SAVE!!
This year, my 13 year old daughter offered to make rolls on Wednesday. She followed her mother’s example, searched for a recipe online and proceeded. When I got home from work, there were rolls in all phases around the kitchen. Some baked, some rising into monstrous size, and large blob of dough in the refrigerator bursting from its plastic wrap and beginning to make it’s way down the edge of the shelf. A sad and tired girl had been convinced by her older brother (who has NEVER made bread of any kind) that she needed to double the recipe. The rolls didn’t taste great and she was pooped. I gave her a big hug, ate five rolls and told her we’d start again on Thanksgiving morning.
The recipe I found the next day was absolutely delicious and very easy. The link from allrecipes.com is here. The directions are for a bread maker so here’s my adaptation using my KitchenAid mixer.
Sweet Dinner Rolls
2 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast (or 1 package)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg, beaten slightly
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
Microwave the water and milk for 45 seconds to one minute. (I make it feel like a really warm bath. Not so hot that you can’t keep your fingers in it.) Add the yeast and about a teaspoon of the sugar. (I measured the sugar and just took a big pinch out.) Let it rise for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s foamy. If it doesn’t foam, start over.
Place the water/milk/yeast mixture, egg, butter, remaining sugar, and salt into your mixing bowl. Mix briefly then add flour 1/2 cup at a time. (When I measure flour, I always fluff it in the bag or container first then scoop it into the measuring cup. This way it doesn’t get too packed down.) The dough is sticky so add just enough flour so you can handle it. Add a little flour to the counter top and knead a few times. The dough is wonderfully soft.
Grease a bowl with oil and roll your dough in it then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double. Divide dough in half and roll out on lightly floured surface. Roll each half into a 12-inch circle, spread with softened butter and cut each circle into 8 wedges. Start at the widest part of each wedge and roll gently.
Place point side down onto cookie sheet lightly sprayed with Pam. Curve each roll a bit so it gets a crescent shape. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Pat yourself on the back for being so darn amazing and talented then eat rolls to your heart’s content.