I like making bread from scratch. There’s just something highly soothing about the smell of yeast and flour coming together. Added to the tactile sensation of kneading the dough, it’s all together a rather enjoyable past time. This week I made some quick basic dinner rolls which we had with soup and turned the remaining roll dough into sweet rolls. You could say I had a happy family and you’d be right.
The dinner rolls I made were a part wheat, part white dough. One of the struggles with building such roll doughs comes from getting enough rise out of the yeast to have a light product even though it’s got the wheat flour in it which tends to make a denser product. I have two secret weapons in the pursuit of tender well bubbled dough. The first one is E-Z Gel…and the second…well…that’s another blog.
When you make bread dough many recipes have you proof the yeast first. This is put the yeast in a nice warm bath of water and a little sugar and let the little critters get to eating and making bubbles. When I proof my yeast I put in 1/4 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp E-Z Gel per cup of water. Think of it like the difference between a warm bath in house water and a soak in a mineral spring spa. The yeast love the sugar/E-Z Gel combination and I tend to get significantly more rise off of the result. I also add 1 Tbl E-Z Gel per two cups of flour to the main dough. Here we’re using the E-Z Gel to help maintain moisture and the hold of the dough once baked. In a dry climate like Utah, this hold means that the bread is easier to keep from drying out and stays tender for several days, which is usually all we need to eat it up!
Basic Dinner Rolls
1 cup water
2 Tbl Yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp E-Z Gel
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 Tablespoons E-Z Gel
5-6 cups total bread and wheat flour
Combine yeast, warm water, sugar and yeast. Allow to foam.
Scald milk and the cool to warm. Combine with butter, sugar and salt and mix well. Work in eggs and 2 cups of flour. While still warm add foamed yeast and mix well. Continue to add flour until a soft dough is created. Allow to rise until doubled, punch down and form into rolls.
Rise again for 10 minutes and bake at 375 degrees for filled rolls or 400 degrees for dinner rolls for 10-20 minutes until golden brown.