The Perfect Dinner Rolls

I am not going to lie. It literally took me about 2 years and 40 recipe variations to perfect this. The consistency is flakey, buttery and irresistible. It is like a combination of a Parker house roll and Kings Hawaiian rolls. I made in the initial dough in the bread machine so it was pretty easy. The first 2 hours was all in the machine. I rolled them and then placed half them in the refrigerator to finish the second rise later in the day. The other half were rolled and frozen. I can use these another day after a de-thaw and rising.

4 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons quick rise yeast

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups warm (110 degree) while milk

6 tablespoons butter – 5 softened and 1 melted to place on top of the rolls

1 egg

Place all of the ingredients in the bread machine based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Place it on a dough setting so that it will not cook in the machine.

This amount should make 24-26 rolls. Separate the dough into about 2 tablespoon portions (slightly less). Tuck the edges of the dough under in a circular manner until it forms a small ball. Place it seem side down and in a prepared baking pan or on parchment paper.

Allow this these to rise another 30 minutes covered. Preheat the over to 325 degrees while the oven is preheating. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking.

****If freezing the rolls, freeze them just after making the balls. Do not allow them to touch during freezing. Once frozen, transfer them to a Ziploc bag or vacuum sealed storage bag. When ready to use them, thaw them in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. Once ready to use them, place them in a warm area or bread proof oven for 30 minutes.

Yeast doughnuts

These doughnuts take a bit of time but they are wonderful and worth it. They do not keep well beyond 1 day. They are pretty much an “eat them right now” food. You can make the first portion the night before needed. If so, you are just waiting on the 1 hour rise before frying.

Dough –

1 1/8 cup whole milk at room temperature

1/4 cup white sugar

2 1/4 teaspoon quick rise yeast

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 sticks butter (10 tablespoons) melted

4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

oil to fry

Glaze

1/2 cup melted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons whole milk

Bring the milk to 110 degrees by warming it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Ensure it is the proper temperature using a thermometer. Add the sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. After 5 minutes, stir in the beaten egg and melted butter.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour and the salt. With a dough mixer, slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour. Allow this to mix for at least 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer off and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to make, roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the doughnuts to desired circles/holes or (as I did in this photo), make small balls and then stick your finger through the center to make a hole.

Cover these and allow them to double in size which takes about 30-60 minutes.

Fry the dough in 375 degree oil. They will fry for about 1-2 minutes per side or until light brown. Remove them and let them sit on a wire rack to drain.

While still hot, dip the doughnuts into the glaze and allow them to cool.

French Bread

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1 1/8 cup 110 degree water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

1.5 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with sugar. Allow it to activate for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with dough hook attached, add the flour, salt and oil. Combine. Add in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be a soft ball that is not sticky. If it is sticky, add in an addition 1/4 cup flour.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm place or bread proof setting in the oven for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press and shape it into a rectangle that is about9x13 inches in size. Begin to roll the dough from one side (on the long side). Once rolled, place it seem side down on the baking sheet. Cut deep cuts into the top using a sharp knife.

Allow it to rise another hour or so until doubled in size again.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaf for 25-30 minutes.

Orange Cranberry Pecan Bread

Oh my! This is really great. It is almost too sweet to be considered a brunch bread (in my opinion). Although, it is good enough that I cannot resist a slice. This bread cooks with a very moist loaf. Leaving the loaf in the pan until completely cool is essential or else it will fall apart. Also, know that the center of the loaf will sink slightly and appear to deflate once it is out of the oven. As long as the tooth pick is clean when inserted, it is done.

2 1/4 cups flour – divided

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 salt

1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 large egg

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoons orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice (one small cutie will do)

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Prepare the topping by mixing the cold butter, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon. Cut all together until it is crumbly pea sized pieces.

For the bread, whisk together egg, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Add in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Slowly add in the remaining 2 cups flour, baking soda, salt, pecans, and cranberries. Stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the pan. Top with the streusel.

Bake for 1 hour to 70 minutes. Test the bread using a toothpick. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Remove the bread from the pan and pour the glaze over the top.

Cream cheese kolache

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2/3 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups flour

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 egg yolks (keep the whites for later)

1/4 teaspoons salt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

egg wash – beaten egg white from above and a splash of milk

Make the filling by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix this until creamy and smooth with no lumps. Set it aside in the refrigerator after mixing fully. You will need this again but in over an hour. 

Warm the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds until warm. I use a Pyrex measuring cup for this.  Measure the temperature of the milk and microwave an additional 10 seconds until the milk reaches 110 degrees.  When it is 110 degrees, add the yeast, sugar, and 2/3 cups of baking flour. Do not add these ingredients if the milk is over 110 degrees. You must wait for it to cool. Once it cools properly, then add them.

Allow this mixture of milk, yeast, sugar, and flour to set in a warm place until it has doubled in size. 

In another large bowl, melt the butter. Allow it to cool. Add in egg yolks and mix fully.  Stir this mixture into the beginning dough mix that has risen.  Slowly add in the remaining flour and salt. Mix well. You do not need to use a mixer for this step.

Knead the dough for a full 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, the dough should not be sticky.

Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Place each of the 12 balls into a prepared baking dish. Allow this to rise until doubled in size (30-60 minutes). 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Indent the dough in the center. Add the filling. Brush the egg was over the dough areas and not the filling. 

Bake for 18-21 minutes or until golden brown. Test the center of the kolache by inserting a tooth pick into the center before removing them from the oven. The toothpick should come out clean. 

The kneaded dough
Add the filling and the egg wash.
After baking. Perfect!

The ultimate fluffy pancakes

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This makes about 6-8 pancakes.

1 1/2 cups flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

3 tablespoons melted butter
Mix the egg and milk in one bowl. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir after adding little bits to prevent lumps.

When mixed fully, stir in the melted butter.

Cook on a 350 degree griddle. Use a non-stick spray or butter to prevent sticking. Flip once the first side has bubbles that open and it looks like this.

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Chocolate chip muffins

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2 eggs beaten

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup butter melted

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate combine eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients without over mixing. Bake in a prepared pan in a 375 degree oven for 13-15 minutes.


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Angel biscuits

These are the ultimate southern style biscuits that are perfect for a large covering of sausage gravy. They are dense but fluffy all at the same time.

 

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3 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 package quick rise yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup water – warm to 110 degrees

melted butter

 

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Heat the water and buttermilk to 110-120 degrees. Add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Add the yeast mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Kneed for 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rise for 10-30 minutes. Divide the dough into 1/2 cup portions. Roll into circles. Place with edges touching in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-25 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter when removing from the oven.

 

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Garlic and rosemary Focaccia

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4 cups flour

1 3/4 cup warm water – 110 degrees

1 packet instant yeast – 2 1/4 teaspoons

1 tablespoon salt

3/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary  – 1 extra large sprig – divided

Himalayan salt for topping

 

Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, 1 tablespoon rosemary, garlic powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the warm water and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Mix using the dough hook for 5-6 minutes. Cover the bowel with plastic wrap and place in a warm place or bread proof oven setting for 2 hours. It will double in size.

 

Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of the olive oil on a baking sheet or cookie pan. Press the dough into the baking sheet and make sure it fills all to the edges. Poke small holes in the bread using your finger tip – this will help keep it in place. Cover and allow the bread to rise for another 60 minutes.

Sprinkle the top with rosemary and Himalayan salt. Remove the plastic wrap. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Pecan cinnamon rolls

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These are A M A Z I N G! If you have never had a fresh home made cinnamon roll, you are missing out.

I have to say that they will disappear really fast. They are not hard to make at all. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise, but we all have a lot of time on our hands these days.

 

 

Dough:

1 packet of quick yeast

1/2 cup 100 degree water

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter flavored shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3 1/2 cup all purpose flour

 

Filling:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

 

Frosting:

1/4 cup cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter

1-1.5 cup powdered sugar

 

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The water temperature is so very critical for this to work. Check the temperature with a thermometer.

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In a large bowl, melt the shortening and the milk in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Mix in the sugar, egg,  and salt. Stir until combined.

 

Add the flour and mix well. Pour in the yeast. Mix with hands until fully combined. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. The dough should double in size. You can use the bread proof setting on your oven. The warm place should be about 80-100 degrees.

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Punch the dough down and move it to a flowered surface. Roll it out into a rectangle that is roughly 9×13 or the size of a tea towel. Pour the melted butter on the top. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and place this on top as well. Sprinkle the pecans.

 

 

Roll the dough starting the from the long side. Use a sharp knife to slice it into 1-2 inch circles. Lay these slices in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Place them about 1/2 inch apart. As they continue to rise you will want the edges to touch. Let them rise for another 30 minutes. Bake them for 30 minutes.

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For the glaze, melt the cream cheese and butter for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir to fully combine. Add in the vanilla. Mix in the powdered sugar. Pour this over the warm rolls.