When I was little, we used to go visit my great-grandmothers house every couple of months. There were two things you could always count on her having: 3 bean salad and yeast rolls.
I don't have her original recipe, unfortunately, but I have been working on this recipe for months. I've made them so many times, I could probably do it in my sleep now. They are as close as I think I will ever come to recreating her amazing yeast rolls.
If you're intimidated by making bread, you need to try this recipe. I bet it will build your confidence! These are really, really easy and they don't take a full day to make. I'm going to include some notes that will hopefully make this process really smooth for you!
Perfect Yeast Rolls
Yield: About 3-4 dozen large dinner rolls
6-7 cups all purpose flour, plus some for dusting your board
2 large eggs
3/4 cup white sugar PLUS 2 teaspoons
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups scalded and cooled milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons salt
Heat milk until warmed through. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Also, melt butter separately, and remove from heat.
Note: Do not add hot milk (or butter) to this - it can kill the yeast.
Dissolve yeast in warm water with 2 teaspoons sugar. Let sit until frothy and bubbly.
Note: I let mine stand until it's bubbled up over double it's original size. I usually mix the yeast in a 2 cup liquid measuring up and let it stand until it's almost bubbled over the top. If your yeast doesn't bubble, throw it out and start over. Your water may have been too hot and killed it, or your yeast may have gone bad. Use warm water - not hot, not cold!
In a stand mixer, using a dough hook, combine milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 cups flour and yeast mixture thoroughly. It should be a loose consistency as pictured here:
Add eggs, salt and butter. Beat well. Next, add in 3 more cups of flour. If you need more, add 1/4 cup at a time until you reach this consistency:
Let dough stand in the mixer while you oil a large bowl, using vegetable oil on a paper towel to coat the bowl well.
Return to your mixer after letting the dough rest for a few minutes and beat it on medium for 3 minutes. Remove the dough and place it in your oiled bowl. Cover with a light tea towel and let it stand in the warmest part of your house.
Note: If you need your dough to rise faster, set it on your dryer, and turn the dryer on. I do this all the time! Also, you can let it rise in front of a warm fire or in your oven with the oven OFF but the light on. Otherwise, I just set it in my laundry room where the sun is the warmest.
Let your dough rise until doubled in bulk. This usually takes a couple of hours.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. I cut my dough in half and shape each half into long logs, then cut pieces and shape them. Once you've done that, let dough rest for at least 15 minutes on greased baking sheets.
Note: I've let mine rest, cut, for up to 2 hours without problems.
Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, or until just done. Do not over bake!