I think this is my favorite recipe of all time!
I use it to make dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, hamburger and hot dog buns, crescent rolls, bread bowls for soup, etc. I think they should be called "45 Minute Rolls", because I've never made them in 30 minutes. I like to let them rise a little longer and bake a little slower than the original recipe calls for. Here's how I make the AMAZING dinner rolls you see in the picture.
(PS - this recipe makes 48 rolls, so you might want to half the recipe. I do the whole recipe and usually make a pan of 24 dinner rolls, and a pan of 24 cinnamon rolls!)
30 MINUTE ROLLS
3 1/2 cups of warm water (as warm as a nice bath...not scalding)
1 cup oil (I use canola)
1/2 cup honey (or 3/4 cup sugar)
6 TBSP yeast
1 TBSP salt
10 1/2 cups flour (approximately) This recipe is FABULOUS for whole wheat rolls too!
1. I put the water, oil, honey and yeast in my Bosch and turn it on for just a second to mix it up a little. (You can do the same with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon.) Then I let it sit until the yeast rises up and is frothy looking. This might take 10-20 minutes, depending on how warm your mixture is and how fast the yeast grows.
2. Then I add the salt, eggs and half of the flour. The secret to good bread is not adding too much flour. Start off by adding half the flour and turn on the mixer. Then keep adding in a cup or less at a time until the dough forms a ball and is no longer sticking to the side of the bowl. The second it stops sticking to the bowl, do not add any more flour. Keep mixing for a few more minutes. Then turn it off and let the dough rise for about 10 minutes. I put a cloth over it to help it not dry out.
If you are using a bowl and spoon, follow the same directions. Just add half the flour at first and give it a good mixing. Then start adding in more flour until it gets difficult to stir. Then you can turn it out onto a floured counter and keep kneading in a little flour at a time until the dough stops being so sticky. It takes a little practice to know when you have the right amount of flour. But a little less flour is better than a little too much! Too much gives you a hard, dry bread.
3. Form into rolls. I divide the dough in half and work with one half at a time. I just gently press it out with my hands until it is about 1 inch thick. Then I take a cup and cut out rolls and place them onto my large baking sheet (half sheet pan). I can put 24 rolls on that pan, and they are placed touching each other.
4. Let the rolls rise for about 10 minutes or more until you think they look perfect, and put into the oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or so, or until they are lightly browned and are done in the center. You can brush them with butter when they come out of the oven. Get your honey butter and homemade jam ready, and ENJOY! (The original recipe says to bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I like to cook them slower and not have them get so dark brown on the top.)
I HAVE LOTS OF NOTES:
1. I use the Saf Instant yeast. It's a lot of yeast, but that's how it rises so fast! If you are not in a hurry, use less yeast. You can use 2-3 TBSP and still have fabulous rolls, but it will take longer to rise!
2. How to make cinnamon rolls: Take half the dough and roll it out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Pour on enough melted butter to coat the whole surface. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and spread on. I've never measured how much...maybe 2-3 cups brown sugar and 2 TBSP cinnamon. Be generous with the cinnamon....that's what makes them taste so amazing. Roll up the dough from one of the long sides, forming a long roll of dough. Cut into 1 inch slices and place onto the pan to rise. Follow the rest of the directions above for the rolls. I make a cream cheese frosting for mine. Of course, I never measure, so here's approximately what I do: Soften about 2 oz of cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large plastic bowl. Add 3-4 cups powdered sugar, a dash of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a few (maybe 4??) tablespoons of milk. Mix with hand mixer. You may need to add more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency you like. I like it kinda medium like a cake batter, not thick like cake icing.
3. I have learned that making bread is really easy but can be tricky to give an exact recipe. It depends on what kind of flour you use, how warm the water is that you use, how your oven cooks, and a dozen other variants. When I use freshly ground whole wheat flour, I use a different amount than when using white flour. Just remember the rule about the dough forming a ball and pulling away from the bowl and not sticking to the bowl anymore. That's the precise moment when your dough has the perfect amount of flour. Also, I use a convection oven at 350 degrees (instead of a regular oven at 375 degrees) and cook two pans of rolls at once. In my mom's oven, I can only cook one pan at a time, and it cooks hot and uneven, so I lower the temp just a bit and rotate the pan halfway through the cooking process. With a little practice you can perfect the art of bread making!
Source: My mother in law, Glenna Coombs, first shared this recipe with me. She's a wonderful bread maker!