¼ cup low-fat milk
⅛ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-½ tablespoons butter
1-½ packages (or 3-1/2tsps.) of dry active yeast
¾ cups warm water (105F – 115F)
2-½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted (optional for brushing onto baked rolls)
I like to use my oven as an “incubator”, which hastens the proofing of the dough. I simply turn my oven to WARM for a few minutes, then shut it off.
Dissolve the yeast in warm water and the sugar until it foams (5-10 minutes).
In the meantime, melt the butter in the microwave, then the milk. Combine and allow to cool to about 110F. (You could use a saucepan, but the microwave is much easier for me– I use 25 second increments.)
Dump the milk and yeast mixture into the mixing bowl. Add about 2-1/2 cups flour and mix with the dough hook. (Or, beat by hand). Mix for about a minute.
With the mixer still going, add the remaining flour, a bit at a time and mix for another couple of minutes, or until the dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl. (I used 3 cups of flour, total). Knead on low speed for about 2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic – the dough will still be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to grease the top. Cover the dough with a clean, dry dish towel, (or plastic wrap) and let it rise in a warm place, free from draft (or in the incubated oven), for about 20 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a square. Divide into 9 or 12 pieces. I shape each roll by pulling them into a more circular shape then grab corners to the center and twist. Place the ball on a lightly floured surface, twist side down and gently grab and roll into a round ball. You can also make 27 or 24 small balls and make “clover leaf rolls”. You then place3 mini dough balls into a greased muffin cup. Cover the rolls with the dish towel, and let the dough rise for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven for 425ºF. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from pans immediately, and brush with 2 Tablespoons melted butter, immediately. Cool on a wire rack, and you can eat these within just a few minutes.
The texture of these rolls are fluffy and this is now my “go to” recipe for bread rolls.