18 July 2008

Big Fluffy Rolls

I have always been a bit scared of yeast. I mean...it's alive. If I try to bake with it, who knows what could happen? And it's so persnickety. Sometimes you use warm water, sometimes hot water, sometimes very hot water, and please tell me HOW am I supposed to tell the difference without using a Cordon-Bleu certified thermometer? Then there's the temperature of the room and the speed of rising and punching and kneading and the extra smidge of flour that it may or may not need depending on humidity. Eek. Yeast has scared me away for years, because dealing with a small brown bacteria more demanding than a two-year-old does not sound like a pleasant way to spend my afternoon.

But this summer, I decided to conquer the Yeast Monster and show it who's boss. Of course, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I had thought, and so far I've succeeded in making some really good cinnamon rolls, pita bread, pizza, and now hamburger rolls. (I have yet to try 100% whole wheat bread.) Surprise: yeast is fun. You can mash your stress into a big old hunk of dough, shape it into a myriad of twists, loaves, and spirals, and when you take it out of the oven, you have the paradisal aroma of freshly baked bread as your reward. Oh, and it tastes good.

Anyway, if you ever wanted to know how to make fat, soft sandwich rolls with a minimum time requirement (supposedly, you can have these done in under an hour), here's how. First pictures:

Rolls rising. They have a lot of yeast, more than a typical recipe, so they puff up like mad.

Just coming out of the oven.

And here are my beauties, inside and out. Now the recipe: you can cut it in half if you don't need so VERY many rolls. But in our house, this is the right amount.


2 1/4 c. very warm water
3 rounded T. instant yeast
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. honey
2 eggs
2 t. salt
4 c. unbleached flour
4 c. whole wheat flour

Combine water and yeast. Add olive oil and honey; mix well, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add eggs, salt, and half the flour. Mix thoroughly. Continue to add flour until dough cleans the side of the bowl and feels soft and springy to the touch. (You may need more flour than called for.) Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place on floured or sprayed counter and cover with clean towel; let rise 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 F. Divide into rolls* and cover with towel again; let rise 10 minutes. Bake on sprayed cookie sheet or preheated stone 8-10 minutes, and let cool on wire rack.

*As far as the number of rolls goes...I usually divide half the dough into eight rounded portions, flatten them slightly, and use those as hamburger rolls. Then I divide the other half into twelve portions; the smaller size makes them great for breakfast rolls. So I end up with twenty rolls from this recipe.


  1. Are these the rolls we ate? Lovely!


  2. Yes :) And actually, I've made a couple more revisions since, which made them even better, so I guess I'd better post those...