Southerners love their rolls. I grew up on the legend of “Helen Duck’s Spoon Rolls.” My friend Judy tells the story of the woman who baked and froze hundreds of yeast rolls to be served at her memorial luncheon when she died — because no one else’s rolls were as good as hers. I’m new to making my own rolls, because Rhodes Rolls are just so easy and yummy. But for tonight’s dinner party, in the spirit of my bread-baking adventures (and because Judy the roll connoisseur will be there), I made these homemade rolls.
1 tbs Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
2 cups hot water (not boiling, from the tap is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup canola oil
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbs olive oil
How I Made Them:
In a bowl, combine the yeast and hot water. Mix with a spoon or spatula and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.
In the bowl of the standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, egg, salt, and canola oil. Switch out the paddle for the dough hook and add 4 cups of flour. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix on medium speed for 10-12 minutes. You may need to pause the mixer and scrape the sides if the dough doesn’t pull together on its own. Toward the end of your mixing time, add the last 2 cups of flour in small batches until you get a firm, slightly sticky dough.
Prepare a big bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, swirled around the sides. When the dough is done, gather it into a ball and transfer it to the oiled bowl. Turn the dough a couple of times so that all the sides are coated with the olive oil. Cover and let rise someplace warm for one hour.
The dough will have doubled in size after the first rising. Punch down the dough and give it a couple of quick kneads. Prepare muffin tins (30-36) with baking spray. Transfer spoonsful of dough to the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. Cover the tins and let rise someplace warm for half an hour or until the dough fills the muffin tins.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you used my trick of letting the dough rise in the oven, be sure you removed the tins first!). Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm from the oven.
How They Turned Out:
A nice basic roll with a good texture and soft crust. Makes 30 rolls.