Make Ahead

Ora's Hot Rolls

December 13, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar (heaped)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 pound butter
  1. Scald two cups whole milk in a sauce pan. Let cool until it is warm.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk the warm (not hot) milk with one package of yeast until all the little pieces are dissolved.
  3. Whisk in 1/2 cup (heaped) of sugar to the mixture.
  4. Whisk in 2 T of vegetable oil.
  5. 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.
  6. Cover the bowl with a cotton towel and place in a warm spot. Let rise 2 hours.
  7. Take off towel. Sprinkle (evenly) in 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt to the dough.
  8. Gently press down the dough into the bowl. Then turn dough out on a floured surface and work in the salt and baking powder.
  9. Melt stick of butter in a microwave. Then pour into a rectangular baking dish.
  10. 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.
  11. Place in an oven that is preheated to 375 degrees. Bake until golden about 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from pan and eat immediately or they are great reheated or toasted the next morning or ...they are great anytime!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cowgirlculture
  • Angel
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • hardlikearmour
  • AntoniaJames

16 Reviews

cowgirlculture October 22, 2014
Yes, I hope you enjoy them :)
thi October 22, 2014
Do we pour the melted butter into the baking dish and dip the pinched dough from there? I really cannot wait to try these!
Angel September 29, 2013
I made these today, and they were delish! Unfortunately my oven wasn't cooperating and it took me a longer time to bake- so we had them for dessert :O

Memorable- and I will most definitely make again!!
Angel January 2, 2014
I made these again this past weekend. I was low on milk so I substituted 1/2 the milk with Coconut milk. I think they were actually better!
Angel January 11, 2014
Made these again. I've noticed that if I use organic flour, not only are they more tender but they RISE much taller :)
cowgirlculture October 23, 2014
Thanks for the ideas!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 19, 2010
These look soooo good! And I love your headnote and your dishes with the brands on them. Just great!! And welcome to this amazing community!
cowgirlculture December 20, 2010
Thank you! I love food52! I have your Orange-Honey Crescents on the menu for this week! So many of your recipes look wonderful! Have a great day!
hardlikearmour December 19, 2010
What a sweet story! These sound a lot like the rolls my mom makes every year.
cowgirlculture December 19, 2010
Thank you. It is so wonderful to have fresh hot rolls at the dinner table isn't it? Have a wonderful night and your Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu sounds amazing!
AntoniaJames December 17, 2010
Such a lovely recipe and headnote. I especially like that your daughter is helping you make your family's traditional dinner rolls! ;o)
cowgirlculture December 18, 2010
Thank you. I have a lot more to learn about the magic of bread making. I am enjoying food52 and your buttermilk oatmeal bread is on my to do list! It sounds wonderful! Hope your Kentucky Bourbon Cake turns out well!
thirschfeld December 14, 2010
these look tasty and the plate with the brands in it is very cool
cowgirlculture December 14, 2010
Thanks! I just found food52 a couple of days ago and I am learning so much! Enjoyed your website - I learned a ton about backyard eggs! I am considering a couple of hens this spring. Totally agree on the need for family Sunday night dinners too! Have a great night!
monkeymom December 14, 2010
what a great recipe and I really love the china! Thanks for sharing it and your story.
cowgirlculture December 14, 2010
Thanks again and I am loving the fresh loaf site! I am planning on making your mollases rolls this weekend! Have a great night!