Will you be making a special dinner for Easter?
I can recall many special Easter meals at the home of my Aunt Margaret. I always looked forward to her delicious ham and vegetables and special side dishes from potato salad to sweet pickled peaches. And she always made the best rolls. Gotta love homemade rolls.
I can’t make any bread to match those delicious, tender rolls, but I do enjoy making breads.
A few weeks back, I stumbled upon a website from a woman who also likes to bake breads, using her bread machine for mixing and rising. I do the same thing. I’ve never especially liked the taste of bread baked in my machine — which is now at least 15 years old, I think! But I love the convenience of having a machine prepare the dough which I can form into loaves or rolls or pizza crust.
Since I found the website salad-in-a-jar.com last month, I’ve made rolls three times — and my family has devoured them three times, not believing their luck at getting homemade rolls so often. These rolls would be so good with Easter dinner, alongside the ham and green beans and sweet potato casserole. You can make them on Saturday, wrap them in foil and heat them in a warm oven just before eating.
Paula Rhodes is behind the salad-in-a-jar site and told me by email that she has made these rolls hundreds of time.
“Could do it in my sleep,” she said.
What led me to make Paula’s rolls was probably her video, showing how she forms her rolls by first dividing the dough into 16 relatively equal pieces, then tucking the dough under each dough ball to create fairly uniform rolls. I really wanted to try her method and thought I could be successful after watching her, and I was!
I’ve never been able to make pretty rolls until I watched Paula’s video. I know mine aren’t perfect, but they look so much better than any others I have made.
Of course, the recipe has a lot to do with the success of these rolls. I did a blend of bread flour and whole wheat flour and made rolls that rose perfectly and cooked to a golden brown.
Paula has many variations of her bread recipes on her blog.
“I make the cheesy rolls most often as my family goes crazy for them,” she said. “Also cinnamon rolls, orange rolls and the rum raisin rolls.”
When I made the rolls the second time, I did half the recipe as cinnamon rolls, and they were crazy good. I just rolled out the risen dough, sprinkled on plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar and then rolled up the dough like a jelly roll and cut the rolls into eight pieces and let them rise. I added a glaze made of powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to the top after they had baked and were partially cooled. They were so good!
Paula and I agree on what motivates us to bake yeast breads for our families:
“What I enjoy about making homemade rolls is all the comments when people smell them baking and then argue over the last one,” she said.
Take time to visit Paula’s blog. Check out her bread recipes as well as her technique of preparing salad in a jar. You can find her video on shaping rolls under her recipes tab: white whole wheat dinner rolls, plus a video tutorial about shaping rolls.
White Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- 1/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup nonfat milk, warmed (see note below)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour, or 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour, or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Select dough cycle. After 5 to 10 minutes, raise lid and make sure dough is correct consistency. This is best described as dough that sticks to the side of the pan, then pulls away. Add additional flour or water, if needed.
When dough has completed dough cycle and risen to double its original size, remove dough to a floured work surface.
Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. See video for instructions for rolling into balls. Arrange into two 8 or 9-inch pans. Cover loosely and set in a warm place until rolls almost double in size.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Loosen rolls from pan and flip to turn the rolls out onto a cooling rack or towel. Leaving the rolls in the pan until cool will result in soggy bottoms.
Makes 16 rolls.
Notes: I suggest using baking pans with a dark finish to help the rolls brown on the bottom. These rolls are delicious made with any kind of milk. Use whatever you have on hand.