Mom’s Rolls

Ever since the First Annual No Football Sunday Dinner a few of those in attendance have been asking me for the rolls recipe.  I know, it seems like a lot of trouble to make homemade rolls. And I know, Sister Shubert makes rolls that rise and bake without all the fuss. But I also know that homemade rolls are worth the effort and you really can tell the difference. These are really good rolls.  Really.  Good.  My mom has been making them for years.  The original recipe is now in a plastic sleeve to protect it from any more splashes, spills or drips.  Fortunately for me Mom wrote it down in a recipe book of my favorites.  This roll dough is a little sweet so it’s perfect with salted butter or gravy or ham or tomato and mayonnaise or, or, or.  Really these are good with anything.

A couple of things about this recipe that are a little different that many that I’ve tried.  First, you dissolve the yeast in milk instead of water.  Second you roll these out and cut them.  Of course that’s not required.  You can shape them however you like.  I like to make them kind of small so I cut them with a juice glass.  You can get 12-16 in an 8×8 pan if you cut them small.  Mom makes them bigger, more juice glass sized.  You get about 9 in an 8×8 pan that way.  Squish them in tight.  You want them to form together as they rise.  It keeps the inside soft.

A couple of tips. Be careful to not overheat the milk. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast. This happens to me a bunch. Test the milk with your finger. When it feels warm to your fingertip it’s good. Do heat the milk in a saucepan. It’s tempting to do that in a microwave, but it will almost always be too hot that way. Make sure the butter is really soft. It needs to melt in with the milk and yeast. This is not pastry so you don’t want lumps of butter. Also, the yeast in this doesn’t bubble up as much as in other recipes. The best indicator that the yeast is proofing is that the bowl of liquid will smell like dough.

These rise twice so allow three hours start to finish. If necessary you can refrigerate this dough after the first rising. Bring the dough back to room temperature and continue with shaping and second rising before baking.

Good? YES.
Easy? Just time consuming. But worth it.
Good for company? YES!
Special shopping? Nope.

Mom’s Rolls


1 1/4 C milk
1/3 C sugar
2 t salt
4 1/2 T butter, softened
1 t active dry yeast (1 pkg)
1 egg
3 1/2 – 4 1/2 C flour


Heat milk in a saucepan until it’s lukewarm. Pour milk into a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, 4 T of butter and yeast. Stir until incorporated. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the egg. Gradually add 3 1/2 C of flour. Add up to one more cup of flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 6-8 minutes. Coat a large bowl with remaining 1/2 T butter. Roll dough in the buttered bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch down dough, roll out to 1/2-3/4 inch thickness and cut into rounds. Place shaped rolls in baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled again (about 1 hour). Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until nicely browned on top.


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