Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls

by Rachel on September 22, 2011

Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls

My 12 year-old son yanked me out of bed at 7:30 a.m. on the second day of his summer holiday so that we could make yeast rolls together, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is my child.  Making yeast rolls was what he wanted to do, and he needed to do it immediately upon waking.  I could have been upset but the apple had fallen RIGHT ON THE TREE and there was nowhere to go but the kitchen.  So, at 7:40 a.m., there we were, we two, just us and the packets of yeast, the flour, the sugar and the herbs cut moments before from our garden.  Don’t feel too bad for me, the rolls only took 20 minutes to make and I was back to my regular, sluggish, Saturday morning but with the prospect of fresh rolls to look forward to.  This recipe would be perfect for Thanksgiving, or when you’ve made a roast, or baked a chicken.  They are a great introduction to yeast baking and certainly can be made with children underfoot.

Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls (makes 30-40 rolls)

Yeast Rolls

  • 2 packages of yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  I find that the easiest way to get warm water is to start with hot water, and then allow it to cool for 4-5 minutes on your counter.  Keep sticking your CLEAN finger into the water until it is just warm, not hot.  Hot water kills yeast and you’ll have “Old Fashioned Hockey Pucks” on your hands at the end, not rolls.  Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Pour the boiling water over the butter.  Stir until the butter melts.  Add the sugar and salt.  Blend until the sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add the eggs and the yeast mixture.  Mix well.  Using a wooden spoon mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a stiff dough.  This means that the dough should no longer be sticking to the sides of the bowl.  It should pull away and form one round dough ball.  I had to add an extra ½ cup of flour to my batch.  The exact amount needed will depend on the size of your eggs and the humidity in your kitchen.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes.  Lightly grease a large bowl.  Place the dough inside.  Cover with a CLEAN dishtowel and set in a warm place (such as the back of your stovetop) and allow to rise until the dough doubles in size.  This took about 90 minutes for me.  Punch down.  Shape into small balls, perhaps two-inches in diameter.  Grease two 9-inch cake pans.  Place the balls side by side in the greased pans.  Cover with a dishtowel and allow to rise until the rolls have doubled in size again.  This will take about 90 more minutes.  In a small bowl blend together 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of water and ½ teaspoon of salt.  Using a basting brush gently brush the egg wash over the rolls just before you put them in the oven.  You can sprinkle fresh herbs or Parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.

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