Update: August 9, 2012: I made these rolls again tonight for my family and used bread flour instead of the whole wheat flour I used the first time around. OMG. No comparison in my mind. Go for the bread flour. . these rolls were delicious! I seriously ate 3.
For some reason, I never imagined in my life that I would be making – or attempting to bake- my own bread. I mean, why would I? Bread makers everywhere already have this down pat! And I can simply run into the store for my fave baguette or my rosemary olive oil loaf. . Well, dude, the kitchen smelled amazing for one thing and for me, there was a great sense of accomplishment (much like when I made homemade ice cream).
Since this was my first time, I wanted to start out easier (or more like I didn’t want to wait 2-3 hrs for the bread to rise or double in size) so I used this Rapid Rolls recipe from Kelsey from the Cooking Channel. This was from her episode on Quick Breads. Love her.
I wanted to go a little healthier so opted for whole wheat flour but will definitely use regular all purpose flour next time! And, now that I’ve conquered my fear of baking bread, I’m going for the authentic bread loaf, cinnamon rolls, biscuits. . see, this is why I could never give up carbs. Never! Sacrilege!!
Here are some things to note:
- I used a cast iron skillet to bake these rolls but if you don’t have one, you can use a dutch oven or even a baking sheet.
- The recipe called for yeast packets and I had yeast in a jar. From what I can tell, the packets are exactly 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. Some other places have said 2 1/2 teaspoons but you should be fine if you measure out 2 1/4.
- I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast.
- If your dough doesn’t double in size- mine didn’t double in size but did get bigger- scrap the rolls and make a pizza with the dough. Otherwise, if you try to bake the rolls, they might turn out hard as rocks.
- Too much salt kills yeast and HOT water kills yeast. Be careful.
- Lastly, I’ve written out the directions here clearer. If you follow every step, you should end up with some glorious rolls!
Rapid Dinner Rolls! Yeah man!
- 3 (.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast OR if you have a jar of yeast, 3 (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for brushing
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 4 to 6 cups flour, plus more if needed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. And get your stand mixer ready, fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Combine the instant yeast with the warm water. Let it activate for 5 minutes until bubbly. Pour the yeast/water mixture into your bowl. Stir in the honey.
- On low speed, add 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and eggs. (Now, on the TV show, Kelsey adds the salt after the flour and when she pretty much has the dough ready. I added the salt on step 3 but you can try it either way).
- Slowly add the flour cup-by-cup until fully incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add more flour if it is too sticky.
- Next, switch out the paddle for the dough hook attachment and mix just a few times. You basically just want to get the dough ready to knead a little, just a little and shape.
- On a flat surface dusted with flour, knead the dough just a few times, and flatten out.
- Using a pastry or dough scraper, portion the dough into 24 even servings. Form the rolls into desired shape and place in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet spaced evenly apart. (if using the cast iron skillet, make sure you coat the skillet with cooking spray or veg oil before you place the rolls in the oven)
- Set aside in a warm place (next to the oven works!) and allow to rise approximately 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush the rolls with melted butter.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with more melted butter, and sprinkle with a little salt.
Cook’s Note: This recipe can be used as a traditional loaf bread, pizza dough, and for both savory and sweet rolls.