Monday, November 12, 2012


This week, people all over the US are bustling around brushing the dust off of their favorite holiday recipes, making their lists, and shopping for all of their special ingredients to begin making their family's favorite Thanksgiving dishes. At my family holiday gatherings, the one thing that I am always asked to make is my Hot Rolls. Everyone seems to think they are the BEST! So this week, I would like to share my recipe with you so that, if you would like to try it for your Thanksgiving gathering, you will have time to play around with it and try it out a time or two before your big holiday gathering. I would like to also add that this recipe easily doubles, or even halves (but trust me, you won't want to make just half a recipe).
Oddly enough, in all the years I have been baking my Hot Rolls, I can't think of one picture I have of them. So as soon as I make some this holiday season, I will add a pic to this post. Feel free to post any questions you might have in the comments.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt (I use unrefined sea salt, but regular is fine)
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 T. sugar (I use evaporated cane juice, but white is fine)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. rapid rise, instant yeast
  • 3 - 4 cups bread flour -the presifted kind (all-purpose will work fine, but not as light of a texture)
  • melted butter
Before you decide to eliminate any or all of the sugar, keep in mind that it serves two purposes. 1) The sugar is what makes the rolls brown to a nice golden color.  2) The sugar is also what assists with activating the yeast and without it, the rolls will not rise nearly so well, nor be nearly so light and fluffy. I have substituted fructose with fairly good results. 

In large mixing bowl, combine water, salt, oil, egg, and sugar; mix well, using a hand mixer or a wire whisk.

In a separate bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast. Add this dry mixture to the liquid mixture and  beat on medium speed of a hand mixer until well-blended and smooth.

Stir in enough additional flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, adding in more flour as needed.

Gently press dough ball down into a lightly oiled bowl; turn dough over, cover bowl with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch dough down. Have ready a lightly greased baking sheet. Oil hands. Grab dough in the palm of your hand; squeeze a ball of dough the size of a golf ball up through your thumb and index finger. Pinch off and place on baking sheet.

Repeat until all dough is used, placing rolls close together, but not quite touching. Set in a warm,draft-free place and let rise until doubled in size,about 40 to 45 minutes.

Bake in a pre-heated 350° F. oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and rolls sound 'hollow' when tapped on with a fingernail.

Remove from oven and immediately brush tops of rolls with melted butter. Sometimes I get lazy and just rub a stick of butter around over the top of the rolls. Serve rolls while hot/warm.

I get about 12 rolls from this recipe, but the number greatly depends upon the size you make them. If you alter the size, make sure you alter the cooking time as well. The last couple of years I have begun making them much smaller for the big holiday meals (about 15-16 per recipe) and people like it much better that way. Those that want just a little bit of bread with their piled high holiday plate don't waste half a roll that way, it is a great size for the kids, and those that want to go back for just a little bit more roll stuffed with some cranberry sauce or gravy to top off their meal, appreciate the smaller size. They can also be made larger and flattened out before baking to use as hamburger buns.
However you make them.... ENJOY!!!

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