Every home across the Continental U.S. is filled with people who love carbs. If you don’t love carbs, chances are you’re a liar and your main life-hobby includes treasonous acts against the Executive Branch of our Government. I mean, I could say that I hate you but your life is what makes great television. Scandal…House of Cards…Your acts of stupidity are what really keep me entertained for hours while I build the quaint little belly that I have affectionately named Teddy.
But, that’s neither here nor there. The point is: Everyone loves carbs. Specifically, bread. And most American people love to have dinner rolls. Especially on special occasions but, if you’re Super-Southern like me, meals were/are not served sans bread & butter (thanks, Paula Deen for understanding). I literally do not remember many family meals where there was not sandwich bread along with spreadable butter.
Also, I just believe that everyone has (at least once) purchased those “freezer dinner rolls.” And honestly, everyone thinks I’m just a little bit uppity with my cooking. It’s not the (whole/entire) case. I’m lazy and cheap. I feel like, if I can make something homemade for less money with the chances that it may taste a little better than artificial flavors and chemical additives, why not?! So, come along, America. Learn with me. Let’s make dinner rolls.
“Freezer” Dinner Rolls
1 Packet Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 Cups Flour
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, room temperature
Using warm water, whisk in the yeast in your kitchen-aid mixing bowl and let it sit 5-10 minutes to proof. It should get all foamy on top, that’s how you know it has proofed. If you are convinced it will not do this, start over. It’s sad to start from scratch but, it is just infinitely more sad if your tasty project fails. Trust your homie.
Once it has proofed, toss in the sugar, salt and olive oil and mix. One cup at a time, add the flour until it begins to gather away from the bowl. I never know exactly how much flour I use because it depends on how much liquid you have. Just make sure it isn’t incredibly sticky and forms a ball.
Allow the dough to rest, covered, for 15-30 minutes. During this time, the dough will rise slightly and you will become even more confident with how sassy you are. **hair flip**
Knead the dough for a few minutes, to work out any bubbles or bumps (that sounds like a Disney children’s song). On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle (9x11, approximately) and spread a thin layer of butter all over it. Pretend you’re rubbing sunscreen all over yourself at the beach. Cause that's better than cooking during winter. Even if you love cooking. Or the winter. Beach wins.
Fold the dough into thirds, like you would a mailing letter, and roll it out again to a 9x11 shape. Repeat with butter and fold into thirds again.
Next, it can get a little confusing…but only if you let it! So, don't be a quitter.
Roll out the “letter” dough again, so that you get the layers good and melded together. This will take a bit of strength but I have so, so much faith in you. Almost too much faith in you, if that's a thing.
Option #1: You can (starting with the longer side) fold the dough onto itself so that you created about a 1 inch base. It will almost look like you’re making a cinnamon roll but more flat.
Option #2: Using a serrated knife, cut the dough in long 1 inch strips. Stack the strips about 4 strips high. This will make it look super authentic like you actually got these out of a bag in the freezer section.
**I have done this both ways. I honestly think the rolling was easier and less messy.**
Next, cut the strips into about 1 inch pieces. Make sure to use a serrated knife or you won’t get a good clean cut.
The GREAT thing about this recipe is, at this point, you can freeze the individual rolls of blessings until you are ready to bake them. Just pop them (all separated) on a sheet of wax paper and freeze for about 10 minutes before transferring to a freezer bag. When you are ready to cook, thaw in muffin tins and let rise in a warm place until they have about doubled in size. It's seriously magic and perfect for those big get-togethers where you want to do as much "ahead of time" as possible.
However, if you're ready to bake....place each little nugget of carbilicious-joy in it's own muffin tin circle. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm area (stove-top or "warm" setting in the oven works perfect) until each "roll" has about doubled in size.
Brush with extra, melted butter and bake at 375 until they are lightly golden. About 15-20 minutes.
You honestly have not tasted joy until you've had these rolls. You're welcome!