Mom was from a large family and having been raised on a farm she knew her way around a kitchen. Both my Grandmothers and my Mom would make hot rolls for every special occasion and for many years my Grandmother would make fresh bread daily. In most Southern kitchens you will find a great hot roll recipe. This is my favorite and one of my most cherished recipes, This was the recipe my Mom used – the results are the most luscious, tender soft rolls!
Good bread starts with simple kitchen staples. The beauty of this recipe – you can make the dough in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for a week to ten days. When you’re ready to bake a batch, just take out the dough you need and keep the rest for later. Or you bake the whole batch and stick some in the freezer. (Thank you Emily for this idea!)
Some helpful tips when making bread:
*If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer consider getting one – All-Clad makes a great one. It makes checking the water temperature foolproof. Water that is too hot or too cold can keep the yeast from rising. The water for proofing the yeast and the milk should be between 110-115 degrees. The last ¼ cup of water that is mixed with the baking soda, salt and baking powder can be at room temperature.
*Check the date on the packages of yeast. Start the recipe by proofing your yeast. If the yeast is not “alive” you don’t want to add it to your dough. Toss it and start over.
*You’ll want to mix this recipe in a large container – the dough will continue to expand in the refrigerator.
*For the first rise of the dough and when your rolls are rising, let the dough rise in a warm place away from a draft – the biggest culprit is your air conditioning vent!
*The rise time will vary depending on the type of yeast you use.
*If the tops of your rolls start to brown too much before they’ve finished baking, cover the top loosely with a sheet of foil.
This is a classic hot roll recipe yielding a soft tender crumb with a subtly sweet flavor. Wonderful for any special occasion. But why wait…. treat yourself today!
Mom’s Hot Rolls
½ cup warm water, divided (110-115 degrees)
2 packages dry active yeast (okay to use fast rising yeast) 1/4 ounce per package
1 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon, divided
1 cup vegetable oil
1 quart (4 cups) milk, warmed to 110-115 degrees
10 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
Melted butter, optional
Mix the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with ¼ cup of the warm water (110-115 degrees). Stir together and set aside to allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes.
In a large container or bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the vegetable oil.
Add the warm milk and the yeast mixture stirring to blend together.
Add the 9 cups of the flour, stirring in about 1-2 cups at a time. The dough will be somewhat lumpy as you start to mix it together…
…but will smooth out as you add more flour.
Mix the dough well making sure you have all the flour blended into the dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for an hour at room temperature.
Combine the kosher salt, the baking soda and the baking powder with the remaining ¼ cup warm water.
Stir this mixture into the dough.
Add the remaining cup of flour – you will have thick, soft dough.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
When you’re ready to bake:
Remove as much dough as needed and place it on a floured surface. (You can bake it all or just a couple of rolls!)
Lightly dust the dough with flour and roll it out until it is about ½” thick. Using a biscuit cutter cut out rounds of dough.
Shape the dough into rolls, tucking the edges under. We use a 3” biscuit cutter that produces a generous size dinner roll. Place the rolls in a baking dish that has been sprayed with a cooking spray. You want the rolls to have room to rise but it’s fine if they’re touching.
Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a lightweight kitchen towel. Place the pan in a warm place and let the rolls rise for about 30-45 minutes or until they are doubled in size.
Bake the rolls in a 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on top.
Brush the tops with melted butter and serve.