Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grandma's Buttery Holiday Rolls Tutorial

Hiya everybody. We're just one week away from Turkey Day. Woo-hoo. I'm starting to dust off platters, count chairs, and scribble grocery lists for my Quiet Man. We've got a count of about 35 I believe, but there's always room for more if you're thinking about a visit. I've still got one lonely cardtable, so come on over. One of the items on our table that draws the crowd is my Mom's buttery holiday rolls. Light and feathery, soft and pillowy, these rolls are a favorite with young and old alike. I know it might seem intimidating to work with yeast, but once you get the hang of it, these rolls are really quite easy to make. They require very little kneading since a long, cold rise will turn the task over to the yeast. Make them the night before and shape them during the final hours of prep. I like to pop the rolls in the oven just as the turkey comes out, since the turkey needs to rest for about 30 minutes. There's nothing like a piping hot turkey dinner with a warm, homemade roll resting on the side of the plate. I'm not going to name any names (Sailor, Reeve, little Adam) but there are some in our family that will skip the dinner and load the plate up with rolls. They're that good! Here's a step by step guide that will help any baker churn out perfectly delicious, positively pretty holiday rolls.
The ingredients are simple and inexpensive: milk, active rise yeast, butter, eggs, water, salt, sugar, and flour.
"Proof" the yeast by mixing it with a bit of sugar and warm water. When I say warm water, think baby bottle warm. No hotter than you would offer to a wee screaming babe.
After ten minutes, it should be a spongy mass. (I let mine go a little longer. I got distracted laughing with Mary Kate on the telephone.)
Meanwhile, heat your butter and milk in the microwave for a minute. Make sure it's not too hot-think baby bottle warm again.
Add your milk and butter, sugar, eggs and salt to your yeast mixture. Stir in 2 and 1/2 cups flour with a wooden spoon. Just stir until it's mixed in.
Just like this. It's a little thicker than pancake batter.
Cover and let rise for one hour.
Now you've got a bubbly, sticky mass that's about 50 percent larger.
Stir in the remaining 3 cups of flour. You don't need to knead. Just keep a stirrin' for a couple or minutes, cowgirl.
You'll be left with a sticky, ragged dough. Perfect. Now cover it up with some buttered plastic wrap as a blanket and say good night. Put it somewhere nice and cold, like the fridge if you've got space, or maybe the garage or the shed. Just make sure it's cold and not freezing. (Even if it did freeze, you'd be fine-you'd just have to thaw out before moving forward.)
About 90 minutes before you're ready to bake, pull back the covers and take a look at your dough. It should be a big fat ball full of air pockets.
Butter your hands and gently punch it down.
It's going to be sticky, so use a light, cold hand. Divide the dough into two equal balls and set one aside.
Flour your work surface. Use as much flour as you need depending on how sticky your dough is. If it's really cold, you won't need too much. My dough was at room temp, so it needed a bit more.
Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Roll or pat the dough out into a 12 inch circle. (Thanks to Sailor for laying down her math to snap pics while my hands were buttery.)

Generously butter the dough circle. I used 2 tablespoons here, but sometimes I go crazy and use twice that. Ooh, boy. Crazy I tell you.
Coat a sharp knife with cooking spray.
Divide the dough in half. Repeat four times, making eight wedges.
Divide each wedge in half again for a total of 16 pieces. Don't worry if they aren't perfect. Perfect is for bakeries. Rustic is for home.
Start with the wide end of your wedge and roll up snugly.Tuck the skinny ragged end of the wedge to the bottom of your roll and place on a greased cookie sheet.

I scooted them all over and ended up putting all sixteen on a standard cookie sheet. Repeat with your remaining ball of dough.

Cover them and let them rise for about 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Pick up a roll with a spatula and make sure it's nicely browned on the bottom, too. Let them cool for a couple of minutes before placing them in a basket.

See if you can resist eating one before dinner. Bet you can't.
There you have it. Now go forth and bake yourself some buttery holiday rolls. I can almost smell them now! See you this weekend with my favorite pumpkin cheesecake.
Grandma's Buttery Holiday Rolls
Estimated Cost: $2.50 for 32 rolls
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (baby bottle warm)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup softened butter (or heat it with milk in microwave)
1 and 1/2 cups warm milk (baby bottle warm)
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 and 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
4-8 tablespoons softened butter, for spreading
In a large bowl (or freestand mixer) combine yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes to "proof" the yeast. If the yeast rises, continue. If it does not, discard the yeast and begin again. Add butter, milk, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Stir in 2 and 1/2 cups flour with a wooden spoon. Dough will be extremely sticky. Let stand, covered in a warm place for one hour. Add remaining flour, stirring with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Dough will be sticky and ragged. Place dough in refrigerator or cold place (basement or garage?) overnight. About 90 minutes before serving time, divide dough into two balls. On a floured surface, roll one ball out into 12 inch circle. Generously butter top of circle. Cut circle into 16 equal wedges. Roll up, beginning with wide edge. Tuck raggedy edge under and place on greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise, covered in a warm spot for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until almost doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. (Rolls can be frozen at this point, tightly wrapped. Bring to room temperature before warming in oven for five minutes.)

Next Up: Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake


Michal said...

Yummy. These are a lot like mine, but I loved how much better you are at the "tutorial00" aspect of this:) Lots of helpful details for the novice. I love the idea of spreading the dough with butter. I might need to try that trick.

Don't you just feel bad for people who have rolls from the store? I want to talk to them at the grocery store and take them by the arm, steering them away from the tasteless,dry rocks and convince them to just try these at home!

By the way, what happened to the "out of town" plan?;)

The JR said...

I'm with them, just give me a plate of those!

Katie and Mark said...

Oh boy oh boy! I may have to take tips from my little cousins and load up my plate with these! :) Alright, alright-who am I kidding? I love ALL the food too much to do that! Mmmmmm.....I'm so excited!

Catherine said...

I have been know to fill my plate with only rolls, too. And my children are all too happy to continue my tradition. =D I don't know if I can wait for Thursday for this tasty treat. Thankyou for the tutorial, no matter how hard I try, mine are never as good as moms.

noahbythesea said...

these look amazing! do you think i could make them in advance and freeze them? these would be perfect for thanksgiving, but there will be so much going on i don't know that i'll have time to make them, or the space!

if i can freeze them, what would be the best way to reheat? or just eat them room temp?

Tightwad Mom said...

Double yummy! I will definitely betrying this recipe next week! I love that they can be made the night before and baked just before dinner. I use a pizza cutter that I have sprayed with cooking spray to cut my roll dough into wedges. It rolls effortlessly through the dough; quick and easy.

Adrienne said...

Good lookin' rolls! My job was to roll out the dough into a circle (Landes dough isn't as sticky as yours, maybe sticky tastes better?) and of course put butter all over the dough. My mom's famous dictum about greasing anything: get the edges! Don't forget the edges! We'll put that on her tombstone.

gigi said...

I love that this is step by step pictures. I really might could handle making these! I have to wait though because I could totally eat a plate full. Thanks for the great tutorial.

noahbythesea said...

I just saw your comment about freezing it. Guess it would help if I read the recipe fully! Thanks so much! I will definitely be making these!!! I can't wait to try them out!

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

Great tutorial! Thanks!

Mandy Bird said...

These look sooooo good! I can't wait for Thanksgiving and your food makes me wanna reach through the computer and eat it! Thanks for the great recipes: )
Mandy@Mandy's Recipe Box

MK and Co. said...

I know these rolls very well. They really are so delicious and just perfect with Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks for the step by step directions. Homemade rolls can be intimidating but really and truly worth the effort. Thanks Prudy and Sailor for the great post and pictures!

maggyymayy said...

I'm a little puzzled - there are eggs pictured but no mention of them elsewhere in the tutorial. Do you add them with the liquid or is there an error with the picture? I love the look of these rolls and I'd dearly love to make them. Thanks for your help.

Prudy said...

Maggymay-(such a darling name) oh, no! You're right. I left the addition of certain ingredients out of the tutorial. The printed recipe at the bottom is correct and I just added a sentence to the tutorial to correct the problem. Thank you so much for letting me know. I really hope you'll make the rolls because they are simple and delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!

Shelley said...

Prudy - Ok, you've done it again. You've saved me for Thanksgiving - these were soooo easy to make! Painless! Loved that you make the dough ahead, then it was very easy to prepare rolls the following day. And the fact that it makes 32 - best part! We tested/ate 4 or 5, and I froze the rest for Thursday. Now, I have to go add "take the rolls out of the freezer" for Thursday's tasks....We'll definitely make again!

Lauriesconsult said...

As you know Prudy I am the sister in the family that really doesn't find the time to cook. One day the season will come when I will have more time to do so. I am guessing about 70 but until then I do make Mom's Rolls and they are cherished by the whole family. I have to admit that this tutorial was awesome and I am expecting an extra special batch this year. Thanks Prudy and Babs !

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