Sunday, November 11, 2012

Prize-Winning Roll Dough

My mom is known for her rolls-they are famous. She made these all growing up and still makes them for every single funeral dinner she helps with. They are the best rolls I have ever tasted and most would agree. They usually take about 3 hours total (mostly raising time). This recipe also makes the best cinnamon rolls.

2 c. milk
2 medium potatoes, diced or 1 c. mashed
1/2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
2 eggs
½ c. sugar (1 c. if making cinnamon rolls)
2 t. salt
1/2 c. oil
about 7 cups of flour

Peel, dice and boil about 2 medium potatoes and mash them until they are lump-free (I use a ricer) and cool. Scald 2 cups of milk in a heavy pan on medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbles and foam appear at the top (do not boil) and cool. In a very large bowl, add warm water and yeast; sprinkle in a little bit of sugar to help it activate faster. Whisk that together and set aside. In a smaller bowl, beat eggs and add salt and oil. After yeast sits for 10 minutes and bubbles up, add egg mixture, sugar, potatoes and milk (making sure nothing is too hot). Mix well, making sure there are no lumps from potatoes. Start adding flour, two cups at a time, and mix well with each addition. As soon as the dough is too thick to stir, dump a cup of flour on the counter and set the dough on top. Top with another cup of flour and work in, adding additional flour as needed (it should remain slightly sticky, but enough that makes it easy to handle). Knead dough until it is as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

(Kitchenaid Directions) I use the kitchenaid bowl to start the yeast mixture in. After that is activated and bubbly, add the mixture from the smaller bowl, as well as 6 cups of flour, and start mixing with the dough hook. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Continue to add flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough starts to gather and collect in the middle. You want the dough to be sticky to the touch, but when you pull your finger away, it shouldn't leave a lot of dough on your finger. Be careful to not add too much flour, or they become dry.

In a very large bowl, add a tablespoon or so of oil to the bottom and sides. Put dough in the bowl and turn to coat all sides with the oil, and cover with a wet/warm kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes. Punch down and let rise for another 30 minutes.

For Dinner Rolls: Form rolls into balls and place on greased cookie sheet, and cover with a wet/warm kitchen towel, or saran wrap sprayed with Pam. When rolls have doubled in size, bake at 375 degrees until golden brown (about 18-20 minutes). Rub butter on the tops of them as they come out of the oven. Glass pans work really well, but don’t fit as many rolls on the pan. If you aren’t eating the rolls right away, take them out of the pans a few minutes after they’ve cooled so that they won’t sweat and get soggy bottoms.

For Cinnamon Rolls: Divide dough in thirds and cover two of the sections and work with one at a time. Add a little flour to the counter and knead dough for a minute. Then shape into a rectangle and roll out into a very large rectangle. Spread melted butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture (2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar and 1 T. cinnamon) all over dough, up to the edges. Cut into fourths. Always working toward the raw cut edge, roll smaller rectangles like cinnamon rolls, pinching the raw edge together so there is no gap. Slice into 1 1/2 inch sections and placed on greased pan (I like to use dental floss or bakers twine to cut them without smashing them), and cover with a wet/warm cloth. When doubled in size, bake at 375 degrees until golden brown (about 15-18 minutes). After cinnamon rolls have cooled sightly, glaze with frosting (milk, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla).

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