Ever since I was a little girl, homemade rolls have been one of my favorite things ever. I could have lived on bread and rolls while growing up. After I moved out on my own, I decided to learn how to make homemade rolls by myself. I made recipe after recipe and discovered rolls are not hard to make.
With homemade bread, practice really makes perfect. Just keep trying and you will be a professional bread maker before you know it.
No matter what roll recipe you are making, here are a few tips that will come in handy:
1. Make sure the yeast gets activated. If the yeast does not activate, your rolls will not rise. I always combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a separate bowl and make sure it bubbles up before adding it to the other ingredients. I add a little sugar to that mixture, because yeast loves sugar and it helps it to activate. If the yeast does not get bubbly and frothy, start over. As far as knowing how warm the water should be, I use THIS tip and have had success since. Hold your hand under the running water. You want it to be almost too hot to put your hand in.
2. Do NOT add too much flour. Adding too much flour will turn an amazing soft roll into a dry heavy roll. Try to add as little flour as possible without the dough being too sticky to handle. Knowing how much flour to add can be tricky, but the more rolls you make, the easier it will be for you to tell when there is enough. You can always spray your hands with cooking spray to help shape the rolls and keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
3. Do NOT over bake. If you over bake your rolls, they will be dry. No one wants a dry roll.
This roll recipe totally reminds me of my favorite Chuck-A-Rama Rolls. Have you ever been to Chuck-A-Rama? It's a buffet restaurant located in Utah and Idaho.
I used to love going there when I was a kid. All you can eat ice cream with sprinkles - oh yeah!! Then, they all seemed to close down and a hundred years later, they have re-opened and are opening up all over. My favorite part now, is their rolls (and still the all you can eat ice cream). They have really really good rolls. They are huge and soft and buttery and I always let myself eat more than one while I'm there. Plus, they have cinnamon honey butter that you can smother over those warm rolls.
If you want a really big, soft and buttery roll, then you have got to make this recipe.
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Copycat Chuck-A-Rama Rolls
1 1/4 c. whole milk
1/2 c. + 1 tsp. sugar
5 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. warm water
4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
5 c. all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted, for brushing on baked rolls
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 5 Tablespoons butter and salt. Heat until mixture is warm and butter is melted (it will start to slightly bubble around the edges of the pan), remove from heat and cool to lukewarm (this is important, because if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the warm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until bubbly and frothy. If the yeast mixture does not get bubbly and frothy, start yeast mixture over.
Add three cups of flour to the bowl of your stand mixer. Pour warm milk mixture into the bowl and mix, using the dough hook, until combined, scraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the yeast mixture and beaten eggs and mix until combined. Gradually add remaining two cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, or until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix. Dough should still be slightly sticky to the touch. Don't add too much flour or your rolls will be dry. You may or may not need the entire 5 cups of flour.
Cover bowl with a towel and allow dough to rise until doubled in size. When dough has risen, punch down. Form dough into balls (if it's a little too sticky, spray your hands with cooking spray). I use about 3 oz. of dough per dough ball. Place on a large greased sheet pan, spacing 2-3 inches apart. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 12-13 minutes. Tent rolls with foil the last few minutes of baking. The rolls brown pretty quickly, so tenting them with foil is a must. When done baking, brush with remaining 2 Tablespoons of melted butter. Makes around 16 large rolls.