Homemade yeast rolls feel like the unachievable holy grail for a lot of home cooks–something only professional bakers and the frozen food section of the grocery store can share. But I have news for you. It IS doable for even new cooks. Here’s how.
I’m begging you not to give up on homemade yeast rolls before you start. I know making bread can be intimidating and I’m always amazed at the number of people who don’t know how but hey–it’s time to learn! I promise it’s not hard. It has a little learning curve, but it’s nothing you can’t do.
This roll recipe is old–older than my husband’s great grandmother who gave it to me–and that is pretty old, let me tell you. She’s the same one who attacked me over the potatoes at Thanksgiving a few years ago. She’s a doll–well, a doll with a walker and the temper of a fire ant.
If you can conquer these rolls, you can make any bread. Cinnamon rolls, sourdough, you name it. You got it. And you can do it. The one trick I have is to recommend CHEAP flour. Yes, CHEAP. The best brand I have used is Baker’s Corner sold at Aldi’s. I’ve also had really good luck with King Arthur’s bread flour but having a special bread flour really isn’t necessary.
Please note that this recipe is huge and makes a couple dozen rolls. You can easily freeze the dough before baking and then thaw, rise and bake or you can easily half the recipe.
Homemade Yeast Rolls
- 2 cups warm water about 120 degrees
- 2 packages dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 1/2 cups to 7 all purpose or bread flour
- In a large bowl, add the water and yeast. Allow it to sit until the yeast starts to foam--about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, salt, egg, and oil and stir to combine.
- Add the flour up to about 6 cups and stir well. You may have to use your hands to finish mixing it.
- Add the last 1/2-1 cup of flour if the dough is still very wet. It will be a sticky dough and that's okay.
- Spray the top with cooking spray and cover the dough with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size 1 to 2 hours.
- After the dough doubles, punch it down with your fist and turn it out onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough until smooth--about a minute or so.
- Grease 3 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
- Break off walnut-sized balls of dough (about 2 inches in diameter) and place them, touching in the cake pans.
- Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap and allow to double again. About another 45 minutes to an hour.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with butter before serving.