~ Want buttery, 'pull-apart' rolls with dinner tonight? ~
Even though my three boys grew up calling these "Mom's Pull-Aparts", this is not my recipe. Back the 1980's (before home computers, the information super-highway or Food TV), moms in search of new recipe ideas often mailed a boxtop or two, and sometimes $1.00, to receive a booklet or pamphlet of recipes from that particular company. I did that a lot back then. This dinner roll recipe came from either a Fleischmann's yeast recipe booklet or a Land O Lakes butter recipe booklet. Both are products I used then and both are products I still use today!
Bread baking has always come easy to me, but if you are one of the many who are traumatized by even the thought of it, this is the recipe you'll want to start with. It worked the first time I made them and has kept my family thinking I am "the queen of dinner roll baking" ever since. I'm going to go so far as to say: in the world of bread baking, these rolls are "just plain easy". When my boys were teenagers, I often doubled the recipe (so I can tell you that works just fine), but, I always baked them in two pans of twelve -- just because they look so darn pretty!
1 envelope Fleishmann's yeast, not rapid rise yeast
2 generous tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes butter
2 additional tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing over finished dinner rolls
no-stick cooking spray, for preparing baking pan
~ Step 2. In a small saucepan, place the milk, water and butter over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted and mixture has reached a temperature between 120-130 degrees. The best way to insure the proper temperature is to monitor the mixture as it heats using an instant read thermometer.
~Step 3. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat until mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula frequently, about 30 seconds. Increase mixer speed to high, add another 1/4 cup of the flour and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Remove the mixer, and begin stirring in flour, in 1/4 cup amounts, until a soft, manageable dough forms, about 3/4 cup more flour.
~ Step 4. Using the heal of your hand, begin kneading the dough, turning the bowl a quarter turn with each push down, until a smooth ball forms, continuing to sprinkle in additional flour to keep it from sticking to the sides of the bowl. As often as I make these rolls, I always use the entire 2 1/4 cups of flour!
Uncover the dough. If you have a kitchen scale use it. You will have 1 pound, 2-3 ounces of dough.
~ Step 6. Spray an 8" round baking pan lightly with no-stick cooking spray. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 1 1/2 ounces each. Between the palms of your hands, roll each piece into a ball and arrange them in the bottom of the pan as pictured (9 around the perimeter of the pan, 3 in the center). Cover the pan with the towel and allow the rolls to rise until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. Mine rose in 45 minutes:
~ Step 7. Bake on center rack of preheated oven until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes, and, when tapped on the top with the knuckle of your finger, they sound hollow. Mine baked for 18 minutes today.
~ Step 8. Remove from oven and within 1 minute, invert the rolls onto a cooling rack. Note: I simply invert the pan of rolls onto a pot holder that I am holding outstretched in one hand, then, invert them onto a pot holder in my other hand, then, place them on the cooling rack.
~ Step 9. Using a pastry brush, paint the rolls with a light coating of melted butter and allow to cool to slightly warm or room temperature (we adore them slightly warm):
Pull 'em apart and butter 'em: Bet you can't eat just one!
Special Equipment List: large bowl, preferably oversized; 2-quart saucepan; instant-read thermometer; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; clean cotton kitchen towel; kitchen scale (optional); 8" round baking pan, preferably dark metal; pastry brush
Cook's Note: For another one of my easy home-baked bread recipes, you might want to try my recipe for ~ Bread Machine Basics & My Brioche Recipe ~. If your bread machine in a closet for 10 years, this is the reason to get it out. You can find the recipe in Categories 5, 25 or 18. You will never buy a loaf of bread for your family again!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)