I found this wonderful recipe in the 2013 issue of “Gooseberry Patch Thanksgiving Made Easy”. I keep this cookbook on my shelf year round because it holds so many gems, including these dinner rolls that have become a family favorite. This is a great recipe if you are new to bread making. You simply put all the dry ingredients into a bowl at the same time (including the yeast), stir with warm water, knead, and let it rise. Trust me, it’s easy. Especially if you have a stand mixer.
Whenever I double this recipe for a crowd, I prepare two separate batches of dough. I cannot explain the food science behind this truth, but I do know from experience that it does not work to double the ingredients for fresh bread in a mixing bowl and end up with an enormous ball of dough that rises and bakes well.
Recently my 10-year-old son chose this recipe for a math project at his school. I made the first batch while he watched, listening to me explain each step. And then he made the second batch by himself, while I watched and coached. The next day he presented a math lesson, describing his calculations to create these delicious rolls, and gave a sample to everyone in his 4th grade class. I can say with certainty that these bread rolls are a hit with kids and adults!
- 3C. all-purpose flour
- 1 pkg. rapid-rise yeast (I used active-dry yeast and it worked fine, just needed more time to rise)
- 3C. shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 2 T melted butter
- course ground salt
- Combine 2-3/4 cups flour, yeast, cheese, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk or the paddle attachment if you’re using a stand up mixer. Heat 1-1/4 cup water until very warm, about 120-130 degrees. Gradually add water to flour mixture, beating at low speed until well combined; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes more.
- Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface, or switch to the dough hook if using a stand-up mixer. Knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover (I prefer flour sack towels) and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, for one hour or until double in bulk.
- Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 4 or 5 times.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each portion of dough into 8 balls; roll each ball lightly in flour (too much will make the rolls tougher). Place rolls 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes, or until double in bulk.
- Place rolls in oven (pre-heated to 425 degrees). Spray rolls with water. Bake for 3 minutes and spray again with water, without removing rolls from oven. Bake for 2 more minutes. And reduce temperature to 35o degrees. Continue to bake for 13 more minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Variation: I have added a 1/2 cup of minced chives to the dry ingredients to mimic a beloved bread made at a local bakery. These rolls are amazing either way.