I will conclude my week of rallying for comfort food with a recipe for homemade yeast dinner rolls that can be prepared in an hour. It is, of course, more convenient to go with the dough boy, but if you own a stand mixer these are pretty easy to put together even after a work day, since the prep is broken down into 15 minute increments and you can do other things while these are rising and baking. Tonight I had pea soup in the slow cooker, and made these during the last hour of the soup’s cooking time. These could probably also be prepared the night before as far as the final rise, refrigerated, and brought to room temperature for baking while the oven preheats.
(from “The KitchenAid Refurbished Stand Mixer Use and Care Book”)
Place 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 5 seconds. Gradually add warm liquids to flour mixture, about 30 seconds. Mix 1 minute longer.
Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.
Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, 15 minutes. (Note: at this point, I begin preheating my oven to 425).
Turn dough onto floured board. Shape as desired. Cover, let rise in slightly warm oven for 15 minutes. (Note: by this point I have already cranked my oven up to 425, so I place my pans atop the stove for the second rise and they are warmed by the heat from beneath). Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
You can do a number of different things with this dough. The recipe makes 2 dozen dinner rolls, which is more than we need, so I often make 12 rolls and then shape the remaining dough into 4-6 larger rolls for sandwiches. These may take a little more time to bake than the rolls; they are done when they start to brown on the top and feel hollow if you flip one over and “knock” on it.
In preparing the dinner rolls, if I am really in a rush, I just divide the dough into twelve balls and bake them free-form on a baking sheet or in muffin tins. If I have more time, I divide them into strips and roll them into curls, or place them in tins and cut them with kitchen scissors in half and then in quarters to make cloverleafs. Both rolls and sandwich buns are good brushed with a little egg white right before baking, and, if you are feeling fancy, a sprinkling of poppy or sesame seeds is lovely.