It seemed like a good idea at the time: plop dinner in the crock pot in the morning and make the dinner rolls in the evening when I got home from work. And then I spent all day at work teaching my students in the lab and the unforgiving concrete floors just got to me. My feet, my back, my body just hurt.
As I was walking from my car to my house I was attempting to think of any way out of dinner. I had left my insurance card at the pharmacy a few days prior…maybe I could convince my husband that we needed to go to town to pick it up and go out to eat, also.
Rice. We could have rice instead of rolls. Except we’d had rice twice this week already. And cous cous, too, so that was out as a carb alternative.
And then I walked in the door and my husband said, “WOW! Dinner smells SO good!” and I knew that I couldn’t not make the rolls. So, I put my heavy bags down and got to work.
When the rolls came out of the oven piping hot, I didn’t regret one bit the extra few minutes I stood with my aching body in front of the Kitchenaid mixer kneading the dough. The rolls were delicious and perfect. The dough was easy to work with and made a huge batch of rolls, half of which I froze for later (pre 2nd rise).
Yeasted Dinner Rolls (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1/4 cup warm water (115 degrees)
- 2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk (115 degrees, I used 1%)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl and pans
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
- 3-3.5 cups bread flour (spooned and leveled)
- Place water in your mixing bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in milk, butter, sugar, salt, and 2 eggs to the yeast mixture.
- With your stand mixer on “stir”, slowly add in 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft, shaggy dough (if necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour). Knead until smooth and elastic, at least 5 minutes.
- Butter the inside of a large bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours.
- To make small dinner rolls:
- Butter two 13-by-9-inch baking pans. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 15-inch rope; cut each rope into 15 1-inch pieces. Press each piece into a disk, then shape into a ball. Arrange dough balls in prepared pans. (To make ahead: Wrap pans well, and freeze, up to 2 months.) Cover pans loosely with plastic; let stand in a warm spot until rolls have doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours (2 hours more if frozen).
- To make larger dinner rolls, prepare 3 8″ cake pans with butter. Pinch off dough balls just larger than the size of a golf ball and form into a smooth sphere. Place in prepared pans (about 7 should fit). Cover pans loosely with plastic; let stand in a warm spot until rolls have doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours (2 hours more if frozen).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg until blended; brush onto rolls. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Let rolls cool 15 minutes before serving.