Monday, July 29, 2013

Best Ever Yeast Rolls

When Aunt Betty served these one evening when we were over for dinner, we could not get enough of them! We raved over them and begged her for the recipe. Luckily for us (and for you), she gladly shared it with us.

We have made it so many times since then, and they are especially great for company, since it makes 24 rolls! I guess you could half the recipe and only make 12, but they are so good for breakfast the next morning too, so why not?

Anyway, here are the ingredients.

First, soften the yeast in hot (but not too hot) water – it should be between 120-130 degrees.

This is how you know if you got it right – the yeast should be bubbling. Activated but not dead!

In a larger bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and applesauce, which we used instead of shortening. It turned out beautifully, by the way – we couldn’t tell a difference, taste or texture-wise, in the final product (if anything it adds more great flavor); it’s so much easier to mix together; and, of course, it’s healthier! Oh, and then pour in the hot milk and let it cool until it is the same temperature as the yeast water.

Next, add the yeast, egg, and 2 of the cups of flour (confession: we didn’t sift).

When it’s all mixed together, it looks something like this.

That is why you then add more flour!

And when it’s all kneaded, it looks like this.

This is how we assist our bread dough in rising: Fill a pot about 1/3 full of hot water, and place on the stovetop (in a “warming zone” if you have one). Set a wire rack on top, and then put the bowl of bread dough on top of that, covered.

In 1 and a half hours, that little bit of dough that barely came halfway up the bowl was about to overflow! Thank you, yeast!

Next comes the fun part. Separate the dough into 2 balls. Roll them out one at a time with a rolling pin.

Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into 3 triangles. (Each ball of dough will produce 12 rolls.)

Roll each of the triangles up like you would those inferior Pillsbury crescent rolls.

Start with the long side and roll toward the pointed middle.

Then place them all on a greased cookie sheet (or you’ll probably need 2).

And bake them for 10 minutes!

They turn a beautiful golden brown color, but they are so soft and fluffy inside.

These are little buns of happiness! They taste wonderful with anything on them – butter, honey, jam, apple butter, mustard, chocolate syrup… but actually, I prefer to eat them unadorned, because they are THAT GOOD.

They even taste great the next day (unlike their Pillsbury counterparts) – just warm them up in the microwave for 20 seconds, and they are still heavenly. Enjoy!

Aunt Betty’s Yeast Rolls

1 pkg. yeast

¼ cup warm water

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup shortening (or substitute applesauce)

1 tsp. salt

1 cup milk, scalded

1 slightly beaten egg

3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

  1. Soften yeast in warm water.
  2. In large bowl, combine sugar, shortening (applesauce), and salt. Stir in hot milk; cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add softened yeast, egg, and 2 cups of flour; beat well.
  4. Gradually add remaining flour (or enough to make a soft dough). Knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1½ hours).
  5. Separate into 2 balls of dough, and roll one of the balls out on lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 triangles. Roll each triangle, beginning with the larger side and going to the point. Repeat with other ball of dough.
  6. Place rolls on lightly greased sheets, and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 2 dozen rolls.

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