Bread · Recipes

Grandma Knows Best: Honey-yeast Roll recipe

Bread is one of the best foods on the planet. French loaves, rolls, croissants…I’m the girl who requests extra baguettes with my Panera order, or wants the bread-basket immediately at restaurants.  If you’re a bread lover, a baking novice or one who loves a new recipe, I think you’ll enjoy this Honey-yeast Roll recipe.

It’s been a couple years since I attempted bread-baking for the first time, and since then I’ve learned a few things that can make or break a recipe. I tried a basic yeast loaf first and made several mistakes…which explains why my bread had the texture of a brick. It didn’t even rise. I thought maybe I missed an ingredient, so I tried again…with same result!

I phoned my grandma (Memaw, we call her) and told her what happened. “Did you use a thermometer?” was the first question she asked me, and there was mistake #1…the reason for most of my problems.

#1. Check the temperature of the yeast/water mixture

When baking bread, the first step is warming water just enough to dissolve the yeast without killing it. During my first two baking attempts, my water was so hot that I killed the yeast. Since I didn’t use a thermometer, I have no way of knowing how hot it was, but the ideal temperature is between 105-115 degrees F.

In a glass measuring cup or another microwave-safe container, measure the water and microwave it for 45 seconds-1 minute. In the center of the cup (without touching the bottom), use your thermometer until the temperature is correct. Add your yeast and wait for it to bubble! Let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Know your flour

Mistake #2 was using the wrong flour for my recipe. All flours bake differently. Are you baking a light, airy bread? A dense bread?  All-purpose flour is lighter and more crumbly, while bread flour and whole-wheat flour both have a denser, chewy texture. The latter two have a higher gluten/protein content, which helps yeast breads maintain a stronger texture.

I had a hard time achieving the right bread texture using all-purpose flour for these rolls, because it doesn’t hold up as well as the other two. I usually use a mix of bread flour and whole wheat flour.

I try to eat whole grains most of the time, so baking a purely whole grain bread is something I wanted to try. I’ve found that White-whole wheat flour is less dense than the standard whole wheat, so it’s a good healthy option if you want optimum nutrients and a lighter bread.

#3 Don’t be afraid of the dough hook

When I’m kneading bread, I need to be exhausted by the end of this. Bread-making is so hard. 

False. It can be a workout if you choose, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The first time I made bread, I probably kneaded it for 20 or 30 minutes…which is fine, but there’s an easier way to knead it. Use a dough hook.

Many standard mixers have a dough hook attachment. “Knead” the bread on low speed for 8-10 minutes, and there you go! Saves you some time and energy!

If you have any questions about tips or about the recipe, ask me! I’ve made this many times now, for Holiday occasions and for daily snacking. Enjoy 🙂

INGREDIENTS

2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115˚ F)
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp. canola oil
1¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3½-4 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. honey

DIRECTIONS

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast and warm water. Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. With the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining ½ to 1 cup of flour a few tablespoons at a time. Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.* Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Cover loosely with foil and continue to bake about 10 minutes more, or until the the center of the rolls registers 190˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. Let cool slightly before serving.

*To make the rolls a day in advance, prepare the dough as above through to shaping. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Leave there to stop the rise, 2-4 hours. Transfer the baking dish to the refrigerator and leave overnight. The rolls will begin to rise again slowly while refrigerated and will eventually puff up and into each other. The following day, about 18-24 hours after the dough was prepared, bake as directed above. You may need to add 2-3 minutes to the baking time, but monitoring the internal temperature is the most reliable way to check for doneness.

Recipe Source: Annie’s Eats

Click here for a Print-friendly page of the recipe!

While it may not be ideal for the waistline, there’s nothing wrong with some quality bread now and again.

Thanks for reading!

KC

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My first successful attempt. Fluffy
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Don’t forget to check the internal temperature of the rolls, done at 190 degrees F.
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Bake until the tops are a nice, golden brown.
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I now make my rolls smaller sometimes – a fresh take on Sister Schubert’s!

 

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