From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Back in the day, if you did not make your own bread, rolls like these were the only game in town. Nowadays, choices for bread and rolls abound, and the brown n' serve rolls, once so frequently served with special meals, are rapidly disappearing from our holiday tables. I suspect their demise began with tubed biscuits and rolls and was further hastened by the presence of the microwave and its quick ability to warm and refresh bakery goods. I had never made twice baked rolls and this seemed as good a time as any to give them a try. Hey, if men can climb mountains simply because they are there, cooks certainly should be given the same prerogative when it comes to untried techniques and recipes. For good or ill, the day for brown n' serve rolls had arrived in my kitchen. The recipe I decided to use as my guide came from Taste of Home magazine. It was simple and straightforward and I found that rolls made with it were perfectly acceptable. Acceptable, however, is not great. I found these rolls to be heavier than most I've made in the past, but I like the twice baked technique described in the recipe and will probably test it with some of my other favorite dinner rolls. If you are looking for a sturdy dinner roll, I think you'll find this recipe useful and I suspect you'll also find the twice-baked technique it illustrates interesting. Here is how the rolls are made.
Brown and Serve Rolls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Taste of Home magazine
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup warm 2% milk
1/2 cup shortening
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add milk, shortening, salt, 1 cup flour and remaining sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
2) Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
3) Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two pieces. Cover second with plastic wrap. Divide remaining piece into 12 pieces. Shape into balls. Place 2-inches apart on greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.
4) To serve immediately, bake at 375 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
5) To freeze for later use, partially bake at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow to cool., then freeze. To use frozen rolls: Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 dozen rolls.
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