Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quick and Easy Batter Dinner Rolls - So Close to Perfect, I Can Taste It!

I have no idea what led me to make these rolls the other day. Absolutely none. But they were soooo good!

Really good yeast rolls are something I truly love, which is why they fall into a very special category in my cookbook - Don't Even Get Me Started Eating Just One.

The flavor ... and texture ... and warmth ... and butter ... make me want more and more of their comforting goodness.

Whatever the reason, I was most encouraged by how well this batch turned out ... and with simple pantry ingredients that did not require a trip to the market. Spontaneous satisfaction ... instant gratification.

This recipe has been in my file for years, though I don't think I've ever used it. There are no notes as to the origin, but a cyber-search located hundreds of essentially the same recipe. I suspect it is one that has been around since time the first grandmother stepped into the cave kitchen to make dinner.

A true testimony to it's goodness is the minimal number of variations in the recipe from cook to cook. A little more sugar. A little less sugar. Shortening, margarine or butter in place of the oil. Otherwise, it is the same list of ingredients and similar amounts.

The batter is sometimes referred to as a dough. Often the instructions say to use a hand or stand mixer, rather than stirring with a spoon ... hence the term "batter."

Whatever it was that made me jump up and make these rolls is now leading me to experiment a little with the measurements and technique. Especially since it is so similar to a recipe I've used many times to make rolls. That one came from the cooks at a college where I used to work. They were simply the best ... at least I thought they were, until I discovered the lightness of these batter rolls.

Now I want to merge the rich, buttery flavor of the college yeast rolls with the light, airy texture of the batter rolls ... and make my own perfect recipe. And I definitely want to adjust the oven temperature and baking time. The batter rolls were just a little bit beyond brown when baked according to the recipe.

Help! Any suggestions you might have to shortcut the number of rolls I'll need to eat in my search for the perfect recipe ... all in the interest of science, of course ... are greatly appreciated!

Quick and easy is not necessarily a good thing, no matter how delicious!

2 pkg. yeast
2 whole eggs
½ cup oil
2 cups lukewarm water
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 cups all-purpose flour (+/-)

Roll batter may be made in a stand or hand mixer, or mixed by hand. Place all ingredients except flour in a large mixing bowl and blend. Add flour, 1 or 2 cups at a time, and mix to form a thick, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with a towel and let stand at room temperature for one hour. Pour dough onto floured surface; shape into rolls and place in a baking pan, leaving space between for rolls to expand. Cover roll pan with a towel and let the rolls stand another hour. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Brush rolls with melted butter and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve warm.


Bre in KY said...

I made these yesterday in my never ending search for quick and easy yeast rolls. We really enjoyed it!
I felt like a couple tweaks gave me a buttery roll that wasn't too brown...here they are:
I added 1/4 stick softened butter to the dough while mixing.
I upped the salt to 1 1/4 tsp.
Instead of turning onto floured surface and forming rolls in a pan, I used a cookie scoop and scooped them straight into a non-stick muffin tin. I only filled 3/4 full.
I baked them at a lower temperature, 400.
They only needed to bake 8-10 mins to come out perfectly light brown and done.

We were surprised at how moist these were and didn't feel the need to brush with butter, but to each their own!
These were also amazingly moist this morning...
Thanks for a great recipe, I've already added it to my favorites book!

Cora said...

Bre, I love your tweaks! I made these rolls again yesterday and had a similar experience. Lowered the temp to 400 degrees and added a pinch more salt. Still turned them out onto floured surface and cut them with my bench knife for pull-apart rolls, but scooping them into a muffin pan is an excellent idea for this very sticky batter. The only note I made yesterday to try next time - add butter! I like the way you think! :D

Bre in KY said...

Just a little update for you...I froze some of these yummy rolls to see how they did..two weeks later they thawed and warmed beautifully! I froze them in Ziploc freezer bags, allowed to thaw in the bag on the counter, then wrapped them in foil to reheat. I plan on freezing more in late August before our second baby is born in late September. Thanks again!

Cora said...

Bre, thanks so much for taking time to give an update on the freeze-abilty of these rolls. I have made them a couple more times and they come out great every time - even with changes in outdoor/indoor temperature and humidity levels and different brands of all-purpose flour. The recipe is a keeper for sure and I'm so glad you like them too!