These dinner rolls are FANTASTIC. You will never buy dinner rolls again! They are light and fluffy, with plenty of nooks and crannies for the soup juices to sneak into. These rolls do take some time to make, but they are totally worth it! I was eating them plain like a cookie, they are that good. The rolls freeze well too, so you can make them well ahead of time.
How hot does the water need to be?
The temperature of the water is specified on the back of the yeast package. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die, and the dough will not rise. If the water is too cold, the yeast emit a substance that interferes with gluten formation. If you don’t have a thermometer, it’s better to err on the side of the water being too cold than too hot. Also, in recipes where the water is being added to a mixture of yeast and other dry ingredients, the water will need to be slightly warmer to account for the dry ingredients being at room temperature (they act as a heat sink).
How do I know when I am done kneading?
The simplest test to use to assess whether or not the dough has been properly kneaded is the poke test. For the poke test, if you firmly poke the dough and the indentation fills back quickly, then you are done kneading. If the indentation stays as a deep dimple, then continue kneading for a few more minutes and reassess. Other tests that can be used in addition to the poke test can be found here.
Manually kneading dough is tough work! Can I use a stand mixer to complete the job?
Yup! Kneading dough is a lot of work, and a stand mixer is definitely the way to go. However, you do need to be aware of possibly over-kneading the dough. This usually isn’t an issue when kneading manually, because you will get tired long before you are able to over-knead. When using a stand mixer, I would use the poke test to assess the dough every 2 minutes.
Where is the best place to allow bread to rise?
I personally have always had the best luck allowing my bread to rise in an oven that has been preheated to a low temperature and then turned off. This method is fool proof, and will work even when your house is cold!
What happens to the rolls if I under-knead the dough?
If you under-knead the dough, the rolls will be denser and tougher. This actually happened the first time I made them, but the rolls were still very tasty, and had lots of nooks and crannies for the soup to go!
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These dinner rolls go great with any stew or soup. They also freeze really well!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast (~2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 cups hot tap water (yeast package will specify temperature range)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
Add hot water. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed just until combined.
Add in shortening and egg. Mix on low speed just until combined.
Add in remaining 2 cups of flour, and mix with your hands until combined (the dough should be sticky).
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough with your hands for 10-15 minutes. If you are new to kneading or need a refresher, check out this instructional video.
Transfer dough to a large greased (I used Crisco) bowl. Preheat oven to 170F then turn it off. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in the oven to rise for at least 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide dough into two equally size balls, and roll each out into a long log. Using a pizza cutter, divide log into 6-7 equally sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place into a greased 9" x 13" pan.
Preheat oven again to 170F then turn it off. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in the oven to rise again for at least 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Bake rolls at 375F for 15-18 minutes, until golden on top.
Credit: Recipe originally from Chocolate, Chocolate and More, which contains detailed instructions if you want to make the rolls using a stand mixer.