I know when it comes to yeast, many of us shy away from trying anything. I remember back in my early days of cooking, I would try rolls similar to these and they would be hard as rocks. Since then, I have just found that yeast is a little temper-mental and the temperature of the water has to be just right. These truly take like 5 minutes to mix and then a few steps of letting them rise and forming them into your desired shape. I am telling you - these are so worth the effort. I promise your family will thank you!
Shared this recipe with Mommy's Kitchen - Potluck Sundays. You should visit her blog - lots of great recipes shared during today's potluck!
Basic Yeast Dough ( adapted from Southern Living)
*This dough can be used for various breads - cloverleaf rolls, parker house rolls, crescents and even cinnamon rolls
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water ( 105 to 115 degrees)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp shortening
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Combine yeast and water in a 1 cup measuring cup - let stand for 5 minutes. Use a thermometer to test the water to make sure it is warm (too hot will kill yeast and too cold will keep from rising). Combine yeast mixture with sugar, shortening, egg, salt and half of flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (*85 degrees) for one hour or until doubled in bulk (can cover and store in refrigerator for up to 4 days at this point - return to room temp before cooking) Punch dough down, turn out onto slightly flour surface and knead 8 - 10 times. **Shape and cover - let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Serve with softened butter.
*my house wasn't 85 degrees. Southern Living suggests putting the dough in your oven with a pan of HOT water on the rack underneath. This worked great. I did this before I shaped them and after.
**Parker house rolls (pictured) - roll or pat dough to 1/4 inch thick, cut with a glass or biscuit cutter, dip in melted butter and fold in half. Allow to rise in warm place (oven like suggested above )Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Yields - 2 dozen
Cloverleaf rolls - rolls dough into inch balls - place 3 in a each muffin cup-lightly greased. Allow to rise in oven like others - bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Yields - 2 dozen