Biscuits or dinner rolls, what's your preference? Biscuits are casual and easy, mix some dough together and the baking powder does the rising work. Dinner Rolls are another beast entirely. And I do mean beast, a yeast beast! For years I tried to make dinner rolls, to no avail. They didn't rise, or they didn't brown, or they just didn't taste good. What was I doing wrong?!?!
Who knows? When Jurga assigned the dinner rolls to me for her Sitcoms of the 60s Gr8 Dinner, I dug up an old recipe from high school Home Ec class; back in the "olden days," when Home Ec still existed! I made a few adjustments and voilà! a recipe that works every time! And you can make these the day before, refrigerate them after the first rise, then bake just before company arrives! The perfect holiday dinner roll recipe.
Perfect because they can be done ahead of time AND the recipe makes two 9x13-inch pans of rolls. Plenty for those big holiday gatherings.
Dinner Rolls for a Crowd!
- 6 cups all-purpose flour,, divided use
- 2 packs active dry yeast
- 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter,, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups hot water,, not boiling
- 2 eggs,, at room temperature
- 2 to 3 teaspoons vegetable oil,, for brushing on top
- Finishing salt,, such as Maldon Sea Salt
- Measure 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into the bowl of your electric mixer. With the paddle attachment turn to lowest speed to blend.
- Add the butter and hot water (water should be between 105°F and 110°F for the yeast to proof properly). Mix with your mixer on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add eggs and 2 cups flour and beat at medium-high speed for a minute.
- With the mixer on low speed stir in flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough begins to form a balll. It will still be sticky. You may not use all the flour, depending on the humidity in the air, the flour you use, and other factors.
- Remove the paddle attachment, scraping off the excess dough. Add the dough hook.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 6 minutes.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand a couple more turns then form the dough into a ball.
- Rub the inside of a medium sized bowl with a thin coating of oil, add the dough and turn over so the dough is covered with oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft free area for 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.
- Lightly punch down the dough.
- Butter two 9" x 13" baking pans.
- Form the dough into small, smooth balls and place close to each other in the pans, not quite touching. You should have 24 in each pan, 4 across the width and 6 down the length of the pan. Check out this video to form the balls.
- Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the oil over the top of the rolls.
- Cover pans with plastic wrap.
- Let rise for another 45 minutes to one hour OR refrigerate for up to one day.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and place rack in lower third of your oven for best results.
- If rolls have been refrigerated, remove, uncover, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Pop any surface bubbles with a toothpick.)
- Sprinkle finishing salt on top of the rolls, as much or as little as you prefer. Since this dough has a good amount of sugar, the salt adds a nice counterpoint.
- Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown. The rolls should have a "hollow" sound when tapped on top.
- Brush with melted butter while warm if you want to add an extra level of shininess and decadence!
- Remove from pan immediately and cool on rack. Or serve warm!
Gr8 Do Ahead Tip:This is a Gr8 recipe for any large gathering or holiday party since the dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.