I can walk away from homemade pie. I can politely decline a hot-from-the-oven cookie. A slice of cake. I don't have a sweet tooth. But the bread basket? Fugeddaboutit. I now avoid Panera Bread and Cheesecake Factory and Olive Garden - three of my very favorites - because once that napkin-covered basket passes, I'm a goner.
I love fresh-baked bread. But bread and I ... we have a decidedly love/hate relationship: it loves my thighs and I hate working to keep it off them. That's why Monday - the day I baked FOUR test batches of rolls for my cookbook - was probably the most difficult day of my young life. [Grin]
Anyway, Monday aside, I thought I'd sneak you my family's all time favorite roll recipe from my upcoming cookbook. (Don't tell.) If you've never made homemade rolls, this is for you. If you're terrified to try, this recipe is for you. Just mix, dump, cut, and bake... and try not to eat five before dinner.
Texas Farmhouse Rolls
1 pkg. (1/4 oz. / 7 g) rapid rise yeast
1 c. warm water
3 T. sugar
3 T. vegetable oil
1 ½ t. salt
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the surface of warm water. (If you’re Alton Brown, that’s 110-115 degrees F. If you’re me, you test by taking a teaspoon full of warm water and touching it to your chin or wrist. If it’s warm – like a baby’s bottle – it’s perfect for dissolving yeast.) Let sit 2-3 minutes. Nicely swirl in vegetable oil. Add salt and flour and stir until combined.
Cover with clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise at least one hour or until doubled in size. (If your room is cold – less than 75 degrees – it may take longer. If it’s a rainy day… and therefore the barometric pressure is low… your dough may proof much faster.) Your mixture, after several moments, will look a bit frothy and soupy, like this:
Turn dough onto floured board or counter. Adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking, knead dough 1-2 minutes. Lightly roll or flatten dough back onto floured surface. Using a knife, cut dough into pieces. (I typically get 13 rolls – a baker’s dozen – out of this recipe. You may choose to cut smaller or larger rolls depending on the crowd you’re feeding.)
Place rolls – seam side down – on a baking stone. (Or Pyrex dish... whatever.)
Cover again with towel and let rise 30-45 minutes.
Bake rolls in 350 degree F oven for 10-13 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Best served – hot from the oven – with butter, honey, jam, or gravy.
Yum! This is our go-to roll recipe, and my cookbook will feature three quick variations that will turn this simple dough into Pesto Rolls, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Rolls, and Bacon Cheddar Rolls with the addition of just a few extra ingredients. But to be sure, these are the best rolls I've ever had. Hands down. Brothers and boyfriends fight over them. Can't beat 'em.
So there you go. Thirteen rolls for your Friday the 13th. Hope you have a wonderful, safe, and homemade-rolls-and-love kind of a weekend. -Brin