I have been eating these rolls for years. My mom has been making these for as long as I can remember. Be it a major holiday (Easter, July 4th, Christmas, etc.) or an exceptionally cold day on the farm, my mom would whip up a batch of rolls. These are especially good straight out of the oven when the yeasty, warm, steamy roll is really fresh. Also good the next day with a bit of butter, jam and a cup of tea. Because there are no preservatives (yah!), the rolls only stay fresh about 48 hours, but don't worry they won't last that long.
The great thing about these rolls is that they are fool proof - no kneading required. You only need to allow for the time to let the dough rise, that is all. I most recently made these on Thanksgiving Day. I tend to make them on major holidays or just because. They are also good with a ham or brisket.
This recipe yields a dozen good sized rolls.
Millie's Yeast Rolls
1 C. milk
1/4 C. shortening (use Crisco)
1/4 C. sugar
1 packet of yeast (I use instant rise)
1/4 C. warm water
3 - 4 C bread flour - do not use all purpose flour, use bread flour
3 T. butter
1 t salt
In a large mixing bowl, place the sugar, shortening and salt. Warm up the milk in the microwave and pour into the mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast packet over 1/4 C warm water. Stir to dissolve. Let sit for a couple of minutes, you should see the yeast start to react and bubble a little bit, might start to look gluey.
*Make sure the milk mixture has cooled down. Then add the yeast mixture, 1/2 C bread flour and the egg.
Beat until smooth. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough (less is best, use about 3 - 4 C flour or less). You want the dough to barely be moving off the sides of the bowl when you stir it. Don't overwork the dough or beat it too long.
It should look spongy but not too stiff.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel and place the bowl in a warmish spot and let rise for at least 1 hour or until the dough doubles in bulk.
Picture above is of the dough after the first rise. It should double in size.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan or two pie plates with nonstick spray. Flour your hands and punch the dough down. Using floured hands and a large spoon, divide the dough into 12 rounds. Place each roll onto the greased pan. Cover the pan with more plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let the rolls do a second rise for about 45 minutes.
Dough after the second rise.
Preheat oven to 400. Melt about 3 T butter, drizzle over the rolls and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 - 15 minutes. Tops should be golden brown.
Serve hot from the oven with plenty of butter and some good jam. Heaven!