These sweet rolls are spectacular. They make an appearance at every family function, usually made with love by my Nana, her significant contribution to every feast. She makes enough to feed an army… no, two armies! and rarely are there any left in the basket. They go with EVERYTHING. Turkey Dinner. Tomato soup. Ham Dinner. Roast beef. Chicken Noodle soup. Chili. Beef stew. It’s the bread in a ham and Swiss sandwich. Sometimes I’ll just make them and slather them with butter and eat ‘em while they’re hot.
They’re so easy.
I’d call them ‘quick and easy’, except I think the time for rising disqualifies them from the ‘quick’ part. The hands-on part is SO QUICK.
First what you need to do is proof your yeast. In a small bowl (or in my case, a cup), put your warm water and yeast. I just use normal yeast. You can use bread yeast if you want to get fancy, but the active dry is good enough for me! I also just add a sprinkle of sugar in and mix, just to get ‘er going.
Give your milk a zap in the microwave, just 30 seconds or so. You want your milk to be warm. NOT hot! I’m doing this all by hand so I’m using a fork to really cut up and incorporate the ingredients. If you’ve got a mixer with a bread hook, give ‘er! But this would be way too intense for my little hand mixer. Poor thing.
ALSO! This recipe is absolutely fantastic with soy milk if you’re dealing with milk allergies! Seriously. These pictures are actually using original, unsweetened soy milk instead of cow milk.
After about five minutes, your yeast should be nice and frothy, so add it to the warm milk. Mix in your sugar, shortening or margarine, well-beaten egg and salt, and stir. The butter can stay a little lumpy for now; it’ll be easier to incorporate when we add the flour.
Start adding flour. I add about a cup or two at a time and then mix it, just because I find it’s easier and less of a mess…. Usually! (Usually my kitchen looks like a tornado blew through it when I’m done cooking!). This is after 1 cup…
Eventually I give up on my fork and start working things by hand, usually by about the fourth cup. It should still feel very elastic and light. All the flour’s in now, and it should easily form a ball.
Grease the sides of a bowl, cover with a wet cloth, and set in a warm place to rise for an hour. In Louisiana, the counter will do! Back home in the winter I would sometimes turn the oven on to it’s lowest setting (75°) and then turn it back off when I’m ready, put the bowl inside, and crack the oven door.
Now go do something fun for an hour! When you come back, you’ll find the dough has doubled in size.
Look at it. IT’S SO FLUFFY!
Punch down the dough. At this point, I usually take half the dough and freeze it in a ziplock bag. Because I WILL eat all of these if given the opportunity. Reform the dough into smaller balls. Grease whatever pan you plan to bake them in and toss ‘em inside. Now, these tend to get pretty large, they’ll probably double in size again, and that’s what size they’ll be when they’re done. My Nana’s army-feeding rolls are generally smaller, maybe about half the size of these. They’ll bake faster, and be a little lighter and drier. I’m using a 9″ pan.
Cover your newly formed balls of dough with a wet cloth and let them rise in a warm place for another hour.
When time is up, preheat the oven to 400° and bake them for 15 minutes! The tops should be a beautiful golden brown.
Ugh, so perfect. Let them cool at LEAST five minutes before you try to bite into one. A scalded tongue is no joke.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons or 1/4 oz.)
- 2 cups warm milk (OR soy milk! Works awesome!)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup shortening , margarine or butter
- 1 well-beaten egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 ½ - 6 cups flour.
Add yeast to warm water in a small bowl (or cup). Sprinkle sugar over top. Wait 5 minutes until frothy.
Pour warm milk into a bowl and add yeast mixture to it, stir until combined.
Add sugar, shortening OR margarine, egg and salt to the bowl, mixing with a fork or bread hook if you have one.
Add flour in a cup at a time, stirring and mixing between each cup to reduce mess. If you’re mixing by hand, you’ll probably want to use your hands after four or five cups.
Shape dough into a large ball. Grease the sides of a bowl and place the ball inside. Cover with a wet cloth and let rise in a warm place ~ 1 hour.
Grease baking dish. Punch down the dough and form into equally sized balls (about half the size you want them to be eventually). Cover with a wet cloth and let rise in a warm place for another hour.
Remove the cloth and bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
Let cool for at least 5 minutes before devouring.