Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dinner Rolls for A Crowd

I don’t do it very often but I love to bake dinner rolls and since dinner is chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy and salad, I thought what else to do besides dinner rolls.  So I decided to make my regular amount (which usually feeds my family and friends-up to 20 folks) and squirrel some away in the freezer for the next few weeks…or until my family finds them! 

I grew up in Oklahoma and went to a private Christian school where I worked in the cafeteria to help pay tuition costs my last bit of high school.  I loved it very much.  Both Bernice and Rovella taught me MUCH in the way of baking cakes, pies, biscuits, rolls, bread, etc.  They were awesome women in my eyes and I have tried to pass on my learned baking skills to as many folks as I can throughout the years.  I miss them both terribly and know that God is definitely enjoying their baked goods up in Heaven!
Here is a recipe that I have perfected over the years but it is initially from the first cookbook that my mom bought for my hope chest, when I was 13.  I hope you like it.

7-8 Cups of All Purpose Flour (divided)
2 tsp Yeast
¾ Cups Sugar (divided)
1 tsp Salt
½ Cup Oil plus 6 TBS (divided)
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Butter or Margarine

Start by adding the milk and water together and heating to 120 degrees.  Add the yeast and 2 TBS of the sugar.  Let it sit for approximately 5 minutes, and then add to a large mixing bowl. 

Next add approximately 3 cups of the flour and ¼ cup sugar and beat until you have a thick batter.  Cover with a towel, place in a warm location and let it rise for 20 minutes until it is very foamy. 

After it has become foamy, stir the mixture and add the oil, the rest of the sugar, salt and enough flour to where it is difficult to mix with a mixing spoon then turn out onto a floured surface (flour with some of the divided flour, a little at a time).  Knead the dough from 5-7 minutes, adding more of the flour until it is a stiff dough.  You may not use all the flour, it just depends on the temperature and the humidity so don’t overdo.  Form the mixture into a ball and pour the 3 TBS of the oil into the mixing bowl that you just turned the dough out of; turning the top of the dough right side up after ensuring that oil is covering the top of the ball.  Cover and let rise for about an hour or until at least doubled in size.

After the dough has risen in the bowl, get a large baking sheet.  Spray with an oil spray and then place about 3 TBS of oil onto the sheet.  Begin pinching off the dough between your first finger and your thumb, roll it in your palm and turn it right side down then back up on the cookie sheet, ensuring that the top of the roll is coated lightly with oil, this will help to make a nice golden brown surface while it is baking.  Pinch off all the dough until your sheet is filled, spacing evenly.  Let rise for about an hour.
 Last but not least, after the dough has risen in the roll forms on the baking sheet, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes.  Make sure you turn the pan around during baking for even coverage.  Your rolls should be light golden brown.
After you take them from the oven, “paint” them with butter from a pastry brush.  Take out of the pan almost immediately so they don’t stick to the surface.
Makes approximately 30 rolls.
In the future I will teach you how to vary this recipe to make cinnamon rolls and cheddar garlic bread!

*hugz and blessings*

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