After many attempts to make homemade rolls in the 70s and as many failures I finally was given this recipe. Before then I baked hockey sticks and hockey pucks instead of rolls and French bread. The lady who gave it to me had a 12 year old who could make rolls following this recipe.
• 2 packages of yeast (1 package equals 2 ¼ teaspoon of yeast)
• ¼ cup lukewarm water
• 2 eggs, beaten
• About 7 cups of flour
• 2 cups boiling water
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 3 tablespoons of butter
Add 1 teaspoon of spoon of sugar to lukewarm (baby bottle warm) water in a cereal bowl or other small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the sugar water and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let it sit undisturbed in a warm place free of drafts until it is doubled, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour boiling water over the salt, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir, the butter does not need to completely melt. Let the mixture sit until it is lukewarm. Add the yeast and beaten eggs (beat them in the same bowl the yeast was in) and 4 cups of the flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the rest of flour a cup at a time. Knead either in the bowl or on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. The dough will be elastic and smooth. Form the dough into a ball. Place it in a greased bowl and turn to grease all sides of it. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it is double or you can refrigerate it until you want to make a batch, see below.
If you poke the dough with a couple fingers and the dents stay it is ready. Shape into rolls and let them rise in a warm place free of drafts for about 1 ½ hours. About 15 minutes before they are ready to bake, turne on the oven.
Bake the rolls at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Butter the tops as soon as they come out of the oven.
This recipe will make 4 dozen rolls. (The full recipe will fill 1 large sheet cake pan and part of another.)
The dough can be kept in a tightly covered bowl in the refrigerator for several days. Pull off as much as you want at a time. To use, let rise at room temperature free of drafts and shape the rolls and let them rise for 1 ½ hours. Bake as above.
Oil or butter your hands before shaping the dough into round dinner rolls. Pull off a lump of dough the size of a large walnut. To shape rolls pull the outside skin into the center of the lump of dough and pinch the seams together on the bottom to form a taut skin. It is difficult to describe and nothing I’ve found on the internet really shows it correctly. My friend called it poofing. There was no seam on the bottom the way she did it. She would work the piece of dough with her fingers, pulling the sides of the ball of dough into the center and then placing them about ¼ of an inch apart in the buttered pan. That forms lovely round rolls. Other ways to shape rolls can be found on the internet.
The dough can be used for cinnamon rolls, add lemon zest and nutmeg to the dough and roll out into one or two rectangles, spread with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add some raisins if you want. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned. Top with a powdered sugar glaze.
This recipe will make three loaves of bread. Only use ¾ teaspoons of sugar in the dough. Form into loaves and put in well greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Oil the tops before baking. Cool on racks.
You can use the dough to make hamburger and hot dog buns. Shape the hamburger buns a little smaller than you want the baked bun to be and place on a cookie sheet pan. Press down on the top of hamburger buns with the palm of your hand to slightly flatten them. The hot dog buns are about the same only you do not flatten the tops. Brush with an egg wash before baking if you want and you can add seeds at that point. Bake in a 425 degree oven until they are lightly browned.