Homemade Bread and Dinner Rolls

So a few weeks back  we had a pretty sizable snow storm. Interesting thing about the South..you say snow and we need bread and milk. This particular time I was pretty set with milk, but decided that instead of the hassle of venturing out..I’d make my own bread. AM I GLAD I DID!

First, I’ll give you the recipe. Typically this makes two loaves, but since we were having soup, I decided to roll half of the dough into balls instead of shaping into two loaves. Turns out, they were amaze balls (ha..see what I did there?).

You know how in school the two things you loved (way back in the day) were the rolls and mashed potatoes? Well, these rolls were like those. Buttery and dense, we even used a few the next day for small sandwiches..they were divine! So without further ado, here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I’ve found you use about six for the actual recipe, then use the rest when you are kneading to get the right consistency.)

First, you’ll open the yeast and pour into a large bowl,. I use my stand up mixing bowl because I do mix the bread with my mixer and paddle attachment. Add the warm water and mix until the yeast dissolves. Add in the sugar, salt and oil along with three cups of flour and mix on LOW to incorporate. (This is a VERY important note that you want to remember as you don’t want a plume of flour all over the room…you can thank me later for that tip.)

Kick the speed on the mixer up a little bit and continue to add the flour a cup at a time until it forms into a soft dough.  You’ll know it’s good to go when the flour pulls away from the edges of the mixing bowl and forms a ball around the paddle attachment.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, that’ll take close to 10 mins or so. This is the absolute amazing part of making bread. You’ll feel the consistency change with each time you knead. That reminds me…to knead you’ll take the base of the hand and push the dough away, then pull it back over the top onto itself.

On a personal, this is where making bread becomes somewhat like therapy for me. I’ll crank some music and find myself kneading along. I literally feel the bread complexity changing throughout the process. There’s something rewarding knowing that I am MAKING food. Not buying, but making. Not going to lie, it’s my new passion. If I had the space and time, I’d be building my own outdoor bread oven. Maybe that’s a 2017 goal!

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Back to the recipe, after you’ve kneaded the bread for 8-10 minutes or so, place it into a large greased bowl and turn it over to coat the dough ball. Cover and let is rise in a warm place for 1.5 (one and a half) hours. ANOTHER TIP! Place it in the microwave to keep it away from cool air or any drafts. Also, I utilize my microwave timer ..it’s a win/win.

One the timer goes off, uncover the risen dough (believe me it’ll be HUGE) and punch it down. Literally take your fingers and poke around in the dough to deflate it. Turn it out again onto the floured surface. This is where you’re going to divide your dough.

First, shape one half of the dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Then take the remaining dough and roll it into dough balls and place in a 9×13 greased pan. Cover both pans and again, let them rise..RISE..RISE!!!  This will take about 30-45 mins and the rolls and loaf will double in size.

Once the time is up on the second rise, you’re ready to bake! Place the bread in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you thump the top of it. To get a beautiful brown, I like to use an egg wash on the loaf. I waited until the rolls were out of the oven and brushed them with melted butter…mmmmmmm.

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You’ll notice a couple of them are missing in this picture. Well..that’s because I had some anxious tasters! They are really that good. We enjoyed them the next day with a little avocado, turkey and bacon. A Southern twist on a California sammich..I like it!

If you don’t need this much bread at one time (I gave a loaf away), you can always freeze it! After the second rise and you’ve shaped the loaves (before the 2nd rise) you can place in a food saver bag and freeze it for a couple of months. To get the second rise, place the frozen loaf in a loaf pan and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. One thawed, take it out and let it rise for the second time. From fridge to microwave. Hey..I’m utilizing every space I have in this kitchen!

So there ya have it..don’t worry about the masses fighting for pita pockets and sub rolls..you’ve got this. AND side note, your house is going to smell delish!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by My Tennessee Kitchen!

 

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