These rolls are great because you can freeze them and they taste as good as if you made them that day. These are also great cinnamon rolls. One of my favorite memories growing up was Sunday dinner with my mom's homemade rolls. I remember people would ask my mom for her recipe and they would come back and say they couldn't get it right. I finally decided to tackle my moms roll recipe and had her show me how to make rolls. I wrote down her little tricks along the way. This is what I came up with.(Don't be scared by the long directions. I just wrote a detailed account so you can master how to make rolls :))
Dinner and Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup scalded milk
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs (3 medium)
2 Tbs rapid rise or instant yeast, dissolved in ½ cups water (115-125 degrees)
½ cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
approximately 6 cups of flourGet all ingredients out (so that they are room temperature) and into their measuring cups before you begin. Put 2TBS yeast in ½ cup of water (115-125 degrees) and add almost a tablespoon of sugar; mix with your pinky finger. The yeast proofs better in a cone-shaped bowl that isn’t too big so that the yeast will climb the sides of the bowl. Let yeast rise for about 5-10 minutes.
Pour a generous cup of milk (almost 1 ¼ cup) into a sauce pan and scald milk over medium to medium-high heat. When a film begins to form on the surface, take off burner and add shortening to sauce pan with milk to let it melt.. Mix the milk with shortening, being careful not scrape from the bottom.
In a large bowl that will hold your final dough product, beat eggs until they are pale yellow in color, and foamy (this gets a lot of air into them and makes the rolls lighter). Add sugar and salt. Add a little flour, then slowly pour a little of the milk mixture in because you don’t want to cook the eggs and mix with beaters. Alternate between flour and milk mixture, in 1/2 cup increments, making a runny cake like batter. Do this all the while mixing with beaters. This is not completely smooth. The temperature should be still warm, not hot, about 106-108 degrees. The batter needs to be runny so the yeast mixes well
Add yeast (scrape yeast bowl to get all of it) and mix, but not too long or it won’t be soft. Add another cup or two of flour until you have a very soft (and somewhat sticky) dough. I try to put the beaters towards the top of the dough as to not over mix. When the dough began to thicken, stop using the mixer and stir with a large spoon.
Gently stir with large spoon and slowly add more flour, scraping off the sides. When it becomes too thick, use your hands to stir in the rest of the flour. I found it easiest to pull the dough in from the outsides and almost poke at the dough, instead of kneading. It will help the dough stay light and airy. The dough will be pillow like.
Continue adding flour in ½ cup to 1 cup increments. It is ready to rise when you can pull the dough from the sides and it will be a little sticky. It is okay if a little flour is on the outside. The dough will be shiny and smooth, and slightly sticky to the touch. The least amount of mixing, the better with rolls. That way, they stay light and airy when cooked.
For dinner rolls:
If serving that same day:
Punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Place a very small amount of flour on counter, or use a silpat mat. In small portions, place dough on flour (or mat) and roll out to ¼ inch thick. Pour a little melted butter on dough circle and spread. Cut into crescent/wedge shapes with a knife.
How to roll:
Start at the largest part of the wedge and tuck the corners in. Roll crescent style. Add a little dough as needed (to the center of the wedge) or take some off. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Rolls should have about ¼ inch space between them on the cookie sheet.
After you have made the rolls into crescent shapes, let them rise again for 30 minutes. Then cook in a 375 degree pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown. After baking, rub butter on top of the rolls to make them soft on the outside and taste buttery.
As soon as they are all on the tray, cover with tin foil (make sure the rolls are covered air tight so that they don’t dry out and later you can transfer the rolls from the metal tray to freezer bags to store) and immediately put them in the freezer. Do not let them rise the second time.
The day you want hot rolls, remove from freezer, take tin foil off, let rise for 3-4 hours (depending on how warm your house is). I usually freeze them on a cookie sheet and once they are completely frozen, I take them off and put them in a ziploc bag. I just grab out however many I need. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. After you remove them from the oven, brush with butter while they are still hot.Cover with tin foil. Put in freezer immediately. Do not allow to rise.
For Cinnamon Rolls:
Mix the desired amount of cinnamon, brown sugar and white sugar to put in dough for cinnamon rolls and set aside until ready to use
Punch down and roll out to ¼ inch thick on a slightly floured surface (or silpat mat) Put melted butter on the dough and spread leaving a 1 inch border on the long side.
Add cinnamon mixture and spread over dough. At this point you can also add chopped nuts and raisins or whatever else you want. Begin rolling the dough tightly, with the longer side and as you get close to the end tuck in the ends so that the fillings don’t come out and then roll to the 1 inch border. Put a little water on your fingers and rub along border so that it will help seal it closed.
Take a string of dental floss and put it under your rolled up dough (should look like a log). Take the two ends of floss and criss cross them over the dough and pull to slice it. Do not make fat cinnamon rolls. Lay cinnamon roll onto its flat side and continue to cut the rest of the log roll of dough.
Let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, checking them after 15 minutes.
As soon as they are all on the tray, cover with tin foil (make sure the rolls are covered air tight so that they don’t dry out and later you can transfer the rolls from the metal tray to freezer bags to store) and immediately put them in the freezer. Do not let them rise at all.
When you are ready to have cinnamon rolls, take them out and let rise, 3-4 hours, depending on how warm your house is. Put them in a preheated oven of 375 degrees and bake for 18-20 minutes, checking them after 15 minutes. Slather on the frosting after the rolls have been out of the oven for about 3-5 minutes.
Frosting for cinnamon rolls
Place the confectioners' sugar into a bowl, then whisk in the cream and melted butter. Set aside. When rolls have been out of the oven for a few minutes, use a spatula to spread the frosting on top while still warm.