If you are afraid of yeast this is an ideal recipe for beginners. I suggest you work by hand. You could use a mixer, but what you learn by working dough by hand is how the dough feels when it is right. Easy Yeast Rolls are great for beginners, but if you are very experienced I think you will like them too.
When I started weighing my ingredients the outcome improved. I weighed my flour to equal one pound. I usually use a third whole wheat and two thirds all-purpose flour when I am thinking healthy. They are great if you use all all-purpose. What I am trying to say is these rolls are very forgiving. 16 ounces of flour and 8 ounce of water takes the guess out of mixing. The oil is a fourth of a cup and an egg is usually a fourth of a cup. Originally the sugar was a fourth of a cup, but I thought them a little sweet, so I cut the sugar by a tablespoon. It works for my taste. Use a little bench flour to flour your work surface – only enough when kneading so the dough in no longer sticky – too much and they become tough and dry. The more you make these the more comfortable you will get with the dough.
First things first – be sure to check the date on your yeast. Nothing is more upsetting than to put work into something that is not going to rise if the yeast has expired. Also do not use water over 115° or you will kill your yeast. A pinch of sugar in the water helps feed the yeast – not too much. Put your salt in the flour because salt impedes yeast.
You can double this recipe, but I usually get a baker’s dozen of regular rolls and more if I make smaller rolls. That is plenty for my family. I freeze these because they have no preservatives in them so they will not hold up like a roll you buy from the grocery store. Just reheat and they are fresh again.
Baking bread takes some planning. I will confess that planning is not my strong suit, but I am getting better. Don’t rush the proofing time. They need the time to develop flavor. If you want rolls you need 3 ½ – 4 hours head start. Gather your ingredients, mix the ingredients and knead. That takes about 30 minutes – maybe less. You need about one and half hours for the first proof. Punch down and shape into rolls and proof for a second time takes an hour. Bake 30 minutes. That may sound like a lot of time, but set your timer and go do something else. You could even work in a catnap if you are so inclined. So back up four hours from when you want yeast rolls.
I think these will make you lose your fear of yeast. I have served these to many a guest and they are in awe that I can make my own homemade bread or rolls. They don’t know how easy these Easy Yeast Rolls really are no matter what I say.
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (8 ounces) (110 – 115°F )
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups (1 pound) flour, plus bench flour
- Mise en place ~ Gather Ingredients
- Measure 1 pound of flour – one third whole-wheat and two thirds all purpose.
- Add salt to flour
- Measure 8 ounces of water; add a pinch of the sugar; warm to 110°F – no more than 115°.
- Proof yeast for 5 - 10 minutes, or until it "blooms" or swells.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg, sugar, and oil, together in a large bowl.
- Add proofed yeast mixture; whisk to combine.
- Stir in flour into the egg mixture using a wooden spoon.
- When dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a floured work surface; knead by hand.
- Knead until dough is smooth but still soft, add a little bench flour if it is sticky.
- Pour a little oil into the bowl, then place dough, roll the dough over so it is coated.
- Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size - 1½ hours.
- Place parchment on a half-sheet pan.
- Punch down dough.
- With floured hands, shape pieces of dough into balls. (For dinner rolls, make them a bit larger than a golf ball. For cocktail buns, shape them ping-pong ball size. Hamburger buns should be slightly smaller than a baseball.)
- Arrange on parchment lined baking sheets about ½" apart.
- Cover with a towel; let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° about 15 minutes before rolls are ready to bake.
- Bake rolls 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden – mine takes 32 minutes.
- Cool slightly before serving
- Immediately after baking, brush the rolls with melted butter, then sprinkle with a topping.
I am taking these to