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Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls

These are wonderful basic dinner rolls and can also be used as the base for various bubble loaves or cinnamon buns. The original version of this recipe came to me via Carol Scott of Wainwright ~ it was her mother’s (Anne Esler – now deceased) favourite recipe for buns. I have modified it somewhat. The following are very detailed instructions for those of you who do not make bread on a regular basis. Hopefully some of my techniques will help you. The following method reflects a very traditional way of making bread ~ the way our grandmothers used to ~ without the Bosch and the microwave of course!

Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls
Yields 3
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
  1. 3 cups milk, scalded
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. 4 tsp. salt
  4. ½ cup butter
  5. 2 packages yeast
  6. 1 cup lukewarm water
  7. 2 tsp. sugar
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 10± cups flour
  1. Scald the milk in the microwave for approximately 6 minutes.
  2. Pour into mixing bowl and immediately add the ½ cup sugar, 4 tsp. salt and butter.
  3. Mix well to melt the butter.
  4. While this is cooling slightly, set the yeast in the lukewarm water with the 2 tsp. sugar for 10 minutes or until doubled in size and foamy.
  5. Add the eggs to milk mixture.
  6. Before you add the yeast mixture, ensure that the milk mixture has cooled down enough that it won’t kill the yeast mixture ~ should be lukewarm.
  7. Add the yeast mixture, mix just until blended into mixture, and then commence adding only enough flour to have a dough that is still slightly sticky ~ my gauge for this is that I need to have well buttered hands to be able to handle the dough without it sticking.
  8. The usual pitfall in making bread is the tendency to add too much flour, thus causing a heavier and drier end product.
  9. Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. (I use a Bosch for all my bread making, and put it on low speed using the dough hook for approximately 5 minutes.) Remove, form into a smooth ball, rubbing butter over the ball.
  10. Place into a well buttered bowl and cover with saran wrap until double in size.
  11. In order to speed this process up, I usually preheat the oven to 150̊, then turn it off prior to placing the bowl in the oven.
  12. I also use a very heavy old-fashioned ceramic bowl that is quite thick and retains heat well, and thus the rising time is shorter.
  13. Let rise until double ~ approximately 1½ hours.
  14. The dough is ready to be shaped into rolls when you can stick your finger into the dough and the shape remains.
  15. Punch down, let rest for 10 minutes.
  16. With a serrated knife cut off pieces of dough about half the size of the rolls that you would like as the end result.
  17. Keep the dough covered with a damp tea towel as you work in order that the dough doesn’t dry out and a crust doesn’t form.
  18. Place the rolls in well buttered pans and let rise in a warm spot until doubled again. This will take another 1 to 1½ hours.
  19. Bake at 350̊ for 18 minutes. (it was 18 minutes in the Jenn Air, in muy Miele is it 23)
  20. Remove from oven and while still warm, brush with butter.
  1. I have a Miele Oven and it has proof setting to warm up the oven before the dough is put in to rise. I do not leave the heat on while the dough is in the oven. I take every precaution possible not to cook the yeast. The reason for using the proof setting is to warm up the oven cavity and speed up the process slightly.
Adapted from from Anne Esler of Biggar, Sask.
Adapted from from Anne Esler of Biggar, Sask.
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