My first memory of my grandmother is when I am about three and I am helping her pinch off rolls from this recipe. She insisted on bread at every meal until the day she died. She used her china, silver and crystal and every meal and you felt completely at ease. No one asked if they were store bought because at first bite you know these are the real deal. I changed the recipe to using milk instead of water. I also melted butter in the baking pan versus she used vegetable oil. I suspect that she only used water and oil because she was a product of the depression era. These never fail, always impress but most importantly they make your guests happy! I know there are lots of recipe's by grandmothers listed but these haved served our family for generations. In fact, my rolls are a little varied in size because I let my three year old daughter help me every time I bake them. Hope someone enjoys them as much as my family has. - cowgirlculture —cowgirlculture
Test Kitchen Notes
Dinner rolls seem to come in a spectrum from crusty and savory to soft and sweet, and these rolls were firmly on the soft and sweet end, I would actually consider eating them as a dessert! However, the quantity of sugar could easily be altered to suit individual tastes. The milk-based dough was easy to work with and made for a nice, soft crumb. Nearly everyone I served them to remarked that the flavor was strikingly similar to Auntie Anne's Pretzels. The full 1/4 pound of butter left the rolls quite saturated (but smelling amazing) -- I would halve the amount of butter the next time. It took me close to half an hour to bake the rolls so they weren't still doughy in the center. Overall this is a nice, easy roll recipe that will be pleasing to many and is definitely kid-friendly. —fiveandspice
Scald two cups whole milk in a sauce pan. Let cool until it is warm.
In a mixing bowl whisk the warm (not hot) milk with one package of yeast until all the little pieces are dissolved.
Whisk in 1/2 cup (heaped) of sugar to the mixture.
Whisk in 2 T of vegetable oil.
While stirring with a wooden spoon, add in 4 to 4 1/2 cups of flour (1/2 cup at a time). Work with a spoon for about 4 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a cotton towel and place in a warm spot. Let rise 2 hours.
Take off towel. Sprinkle (evenly) in 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt to the dough.
Gently press down the dough into the bowl. Then turn dough out on a floured surface and work in the salt and baking powder.
Melt stick of butter in a microwave. Then pour into a rectangular baking dish.
Pinch off roll of dough using thumb and forefinger. Dip smooth part of roll in butter and then place the roll in the buttered pan with the smooth part of the roll facing up. Repeat tucking rolls tightly together in rows. Once the entire pan is tightly filled then place in a warm spot and cover with cotton dish towel. Let rise for one hour.
Place in an oven that is preheated to 375 degrees. Bake until golden about 15 minutes.
Remove from pan and eat immediately or they are great reheated or toasted the next morning or ...they are great anytime!