Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dinner Rolls to Die For

The story behind this recipe is quite funny. My mom worked in a bakery as a teenager/young adult and regularly baked at home. She would make and decorate wedding cakes, birthday cakes, other cake orders, bread to sell, muffins to sell, various goodies to give away, and bread and treats for us at home. She became well known for her dinner rolls, and after several years, recognized a pattern. Every time there was a funeral, she would get called to make her amazing dinner rolls to serve to the family after the funeral services. It was only natural that the boring name "dinner rolls" developed into the well earned "Dinner Rolls to Die For."

Dinner Rolls to Die For

6 to 6 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 pkg. yeast
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
2 c. warm water (12o˚ to 130˚)
Salad oil

In large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; add butter. With mixer at low speed, gradually pour water into dry ingredients. Add egg; increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Beat in 3/4 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter; continue beating 2 minutes. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour (about 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface an knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (I think my mom still uses her mixer for this part, if my memory is correct.)

Shape dough into ball and place in greased large bowl, turning over so that top of dough is greased. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch open roasting pan or cookie sheet with shallow edges (not flat!). Cut dough into 30 equal pieces; shape into balls and place in pan. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425˚. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Brush rolls with melted butter. Remove from pan and serve immediately. Makes 2 1/2 dozen rolls.

These rolls are so amazing, it's ridiculous.

By the way, when my mom worked at the bakery, her boss taught her how to shape the dough into perfect rolls.
  • Place the little ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Cup your hand as if you were to cup a small breast with your hand. (Yep - that's what he said!), now gently roll the ball of dough in a circular motion (breast reference continued) until it reaches the desired shape. :) All I can say is that it really is easier to shape the balls of dough into perfect rolls when you remember this very interesting trick of the trade!

Paradise Pumpkin Pie

I'm finally getting to posting this recipe. It's one of my family-favorites that my mom bakes several of for Thanksgiving.

Paradise Pumpkin Pie

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (I like to add a little more!)
Dash of salt

Combine softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Blend in egg. Spread onto bottom of pastry shell.

Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Carefully pour over cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350˚, 1 hour and 5 minutes. Cool. Brush with maple syrup and garnish with pecan halves, if desired.