Don't you feel like slicing one of these open and slathering on some sinfully rich high grade butter or homemade jam from your local farm market? They not only taste great but your whole house smells like your favoriate bakery!
My only experience with yeast was many years ago, pre-bread machine era, as a newlywed. I had never made bread and decided to give it a try. It wasn't for a lack of trying I gave up quickly it was because our house was drafty and trying to find a warm place for bread dough with yeast to rise was difficult. The few loaves I was able to make, when the weather cooperated and the house was warm, were good.
Fast forward to now. I stumbled upon an easy, delicious recipe for dinner rolls (recipe follows) using rapid-rise yeast and the heat from your oven to help the dough rise! The recipe comes from an article written by Lynn Clark for the October/November 2009 issue of Cook's Country, published by America's Test Kitchen. They have a fabulous TV cooking show and publish several cooking magazines. If you like to cook, I highly recommend them.
Soft & Chewy Dinner Rolls
Makes 12 rolls
1 1/4 c. water, heated to 110 degrees
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 t.) rapid-rise or instant yeast
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. instant potato flakes
1 1/2 t. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
If you have a drafty house like mine adjust your oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease large bowl.
Whisk water, oil, sugar, and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, potato flakes, and 1 1/2 t. salt until combined. With mixer on low, add water mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes.
Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough has doubled in size, 45 minutes.
Punch down dough on lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into quarters and cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces. On clean surface, form each piece into rough ball by pinching and pulling the edges under so the top is smooth. Cup each round with your palm and move in a circular motion on an unfloured surface to shape a smooth ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and return to turned-off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Remove rolls from oven, discard plastic wrap and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush rolls with egg and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 t. salt. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through cooking. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
For other variations check out Cook's Country's website.