It's no secret that bread is a weakness in our house! There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh baked bread filling up your kitchen. I know the idea of baking bread at home may seem a little intimidating. Trust me, I'm right there with ya! I, myself, am quite the amateur when it comes to bread baking, but I promise, this one is easy! These yeast rolls are extremely simple to mix up, as long as you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty.
The ingredient list is pretty straight forward, and with the exception of the yeast, you may even have all of the ingredients already on hand. For this recipe, you will need all-purpose flour, white sugar, salt, warm water and instant (or rapid rise) yeast. I'm a big believer in saving time where you can in the kitchen, so the instant yeast works for me! You can find it in your local grocery store or even online. If you don't think you'll be using it often, you can usually find these little packets of yeast in a set of three for just a couple dollars.
If you go the instant yeast route, there's no need to proof it in water and you can just mix it in with the rest of the dry ingredients. But, I have a bit of a rebellious side, so here's what I have been doing...I add the warm water first, then the sugar, stirring until it dissolves. It's important to make sure that your water is warm, but not hot! Too warm and you can kill the yeast. Once the sugar is dissolved, I add the packet of instant yeast and gently stir. *If you have any doubts about whether or not your yeast is good, you can let it sit for a couple of minutes. If you see any activity (bubbling, growing in size), you know your yeast is good to go. Just keep in mind that this isn't a necessary step*
Here's a some helpful info about yeast, from the folks at Fleischmann's!
Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and mix with your paddle attachment on a low setting until all of the ingredients come together and your dough forms. Keep in mind that the dough will be a little sticky at this point. Nothing a little extra flour can't take of! Pour a light layer of flour out onto a smooth, flat surface and plop that dough mixture on it. Knead until it's smooth, adding additional flour as needed.
Separate the dough into roughly 16 pieces, using a dough scraper. If you don't have a scraper, a pizza cutter will do the trick here. Form into a slightly flattened ball (think biscuit shaped). Arrange into two 9 inch round, greased pans. You can fit 8 pieces in each pan, with the edges slightly touching. Now you can take a little break! Cover the pans gently with a light towel and let the dough rise for around 45 minutes, or until they double in size.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush the dough with melted butter before baking. A little butter never hurt anyone, amiright??? Then you'll bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, remove and brush with a little more butter. Continue baking for another 5-7 minutes. Once they come out of the oven, you may just want to brush them with a little more butter (last time, I promise!) and sprinkle with some coarse sea salt. Let them rest on a cooling rack for a couple of minutes, but not too long, because...hot, fresh, steamy bread!
*Take it to the next level tip - Mix in with some garlic powder, parsley and parmesan with your melted butter on the last brushing out of the oven for yummy garlic parmesan rolls. Ohhhh yeah!!!!
Thanks for Chewsing!