I was so happy my neighbor was willing to share her recipe. I've tweaked it a bit so it doesn't make so many and added more detail to the instructions. I have made these countless times and they always turn out great. My kids love them too! Actually, everyone that tries them loves them. And they're great on their own or served with soup or used for sandwiches. Yum, yum, yum!
I'm not a bread baker and I had never made any kind of yeast rolls or bread from scratch before these, so I was a little hesitant to try them. But, the recipe is straight-forward and simple and requires only a few ingredients. These do have a few steps (making the dough, letting it proof, rolling out the balls, boiling the balls in baking soda water...) but I really enjoyed the process and now I want to try making other types of bread as well!
Don't be intimidated by homemade rolls, especially these ones! This is a great recipe to start with!
Yield: About 2 dozen
1 1/2 cups water, warm to touch (just above room temperature)
2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
1/3 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
water for boiling
1 beaten egg with a splash of water
Coarse salt for sprinkling
In a glass bowl, add yeast. Pour in warm water and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly and foamy. Using a stand mixer, pour yeast mixture into a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to low. Add sugar and mix for 30 seconds. Pour in melted butter, flour* and salt. Mix until dough just comes together. Put on dough hook attachment. Mix until dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Don’t over knead.
Remove from bowl. Knead dough a few times on floured surface. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled glass bowl. Cover with a tea or kitchen towel and let proof for 1 hour (choose the warmest spot in your kitchen. Yeast loves heat). Once proofed (the dough should be about double in size), divide dough into balls. This recipe yields around 2 dozen regular-sized rolls. You can make them as little or as big as you would like.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large pot, bring water (enough to completely cover balls) and baking soda to a boil. Add dough balls a few at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer boiled balls to parchment-lined** baking sheet. Brush tops with egg mixture, sprinkle with flaked or coarse salt and bake until golden brown on top. 12-15 minutes.
If you’re feeling naughty, brush warm rolls with melted butter. Serve hot, warm or cold. These babies are good at any temp!
* Start with 4 cups of flour. The dough should feel like play doh. If it's sticky, add in remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
** Make sure you use parchment paper. The baking soda will leave rings on your baking sheet.
Inspired by and adapted from Penny Timmer
* * * * * * * * * * *
Once your dough just comes together, switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook.
The dough hook will knead the dough and make a nice ball
Take the large ball of dough and place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a towel and let it proof (rise) for an hour. It will double in size.
Once the dough has proofed, cut it into equal pieces.
Using the heel and palm of your hand, roll each piece into balls.
You should have a 'belly button' on the bottom of each roll. If not, don't sweat it. Roll the balls anyway you like. You can also roll them into snakes and twist them into a knot to make pretzel shapes. You'll have to google that :)