I acquired this recipe right after I got married (at least 100 years ago) from my mother-in-law.
Her dinner rolls were divine and I just had to know how to make them. The rolls are rich and buttery. Better yet they are easy. Seriously...super simple. The dough is refrigerated overnight. They require no kneading. Mix, refrigerate, roll out, bake, EAT!
In fact, my oldest daughter was proposed to at college when she made them for a dinner. She did not accept the proposal. Whew!
You will need 3 eggs, 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon yeast, 1/4 cup wartm water, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 4 1/2 - 5 cups of flour.
Oh my, I almost forgot the yeast. That would have been so bad!
Dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.
Repeat after me....yeast is my friend...yeast is my friend....
The yeast will always be your friend as long as you don't kill it! How do you kill it??
You kill it by making the water too hot that you dissolve it in. The water should be warm to the touch. Not hot. Just warm. Not too cold that will make the yeast rise slower. Warmer than a baby bottle. About 110 degrees is safe.
I am using SAF-instant yeast. You can use whatever yeast you have.
Whisk the yeast into the warm water to dissolve.
In the bowl of a mixer add eggs.
Add the sugar. My granddaughter is helping me out today. She has been coloring with permanent markers as you can see. She isn't allowed to color with permanent markers. She told me that when I gave them to her. Whatever! Today she can!
Let me tell you one thing about adding sugar to eggs. If you add the sugar on top if the eggs and do not mix it in, the sugar will start a process which begins to cook the eggs. Not good. So please start mixing at once.
Add the salt.
Mix the eggs, sugar and salt together quiet well. I just let the mixer keep running on low at this point. You can turn it off if you want.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
When the butter has completely melted and the butter starts to bubble, add the milk all at once. Then immediately take off the heat. You don't want to get the milk, butter mixture too hot because it will cook the eggs AND kill the yeast.
With the mixer on low, add the milk and butter mixture.
Add the dissolved yeast.
Add the flour 1 cup at a time.
Mix well after each addition.
When you add the fourth cup of flour, let the mixer run for about 3-5 minutes. Now I determine just how much more flour I will add. NEVER let me repeat NEVER add more than 5 cups of flour. In fact, I rarely add more than 4 1/2 cups of flour. You don't want to dough to be stiff. It needs to be very sticky.
One good way to tell if you have added enough flour is to look at the sides of the bowl. Add flour just until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. Remember the dough is very sticky.
I use a dough scraper to scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and to form a ball of dough.
Here you can see how sticky the dough is.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight.
The following day, about 3-4 hours before you want the rolls cooked, remove the dough from the refrigerator. The dough will have risen slightly. Not quiet doubled in size, but close.
You will now need 6 tablespoons of butter.
Melt the butter.
Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
Shape each half into a ball of dough.
Slightly flatten the dough into a disk. Dust lightly with flour.
Roll the dough out into a large 14-inch circle.
Pour 1/2 of the melted butter into the middle of the circle of dough.
With the back of a spoon, spread the butter.
Spread the butter to within an inch of the edge.
I like to use a pizza cutter for this part. You can use a sharp knife if you would like.
Cut the circle in half.
Now cut it in half the other direction. The dough should be in fourths.
Cut each fourth into thirds. Get it? You should have 12 triangles of dough.
See, 12 triangles.
To make the crescent shape roll, start at the wide end of the triangle and begin to roll toward the tip.
I like to pull on the tip and stretch it out a bit as I roll.
Place the roll onto a greased or parchment lines baking sheet point down. If you don't put the point of the triangle on the bottom, it will unroll a bit during baking.
Repeat the process for the remaining dough.
I only like to put 12 rolls per cookie sheet. This gives them room to spread and they bake more evenly and you rolls won't be doughy. Ugh, hate doughy bread.
Cover with a clean, dry dish cloth. Allow to rise for about 3-4 hours. During the hot summer months the rising time is only about an hour.
The test I use to see if the rolls have risen enough, is to gently push on the dough. If it feels like a marshmallow, it's time to bake.
Place the baking sheet into a preheated 375 degree oven.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.
Serve hot. You will find the rolls to have a very delicate crumb and they are light and airy.
Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
1/2 cup butter (for rolling out dough)
When ready to bake, remove dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball of dough. Roll out each ball into a 14-inch circle. Melt 1/2 cup butter. Pour half the butter into the middle of each circle. Spread butter to within one-inch of the edge. Cut each circle in half then cut in half the other direction so that the dough has been cut into fourths. Cut each fourth into thirds. Each circle should be cut into 12 triangles. Beginning at the wide edge of the triangle roll the dough towards the tip of the dough. Place the crescent shaped rolls onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet, point down. Place 12 rolls per baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 3-4 hours or until the dough feels like a marshmallow, when gently pressed. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Makes 2 dozen rolls.
Rolls are perfect served with a fluffy honey butter.