This family recipe from our Aunt Jo is well over 100 years old. It is a cherished recipe for many reasons. Our aunt Jo is 85 years old and still continues to make these dinner rolls. Aunt Jo was the youngest of 12 children. Her Papa owned a small farm in the Pecos valley. Sadly aunt Jo's mama passed away when she was only eight years old. Aunt Jo missed the company of her mother but learned how to occupy herself while her papa farmed. Jo was quite a few years younger than her siblings who had grown up and left home. Her brothers enlisted in the service and her sisters were married and had started their own families.
Aunt Jo graduated from college, taught first grade, married and had a baby girl. Missing her mother she tried to remember the dinner roll recipe that her mother taught her. She practiced making it until she got it perfect. Obviously the thought of mama's dinner rolls brought her comfort.
I have been working on a cookbook of favorite family recipes and wanted to include a recipe for steakhouse bread. My children and I love the bread they serve at steakhouses. Our family did not eat out much so when we did go out it was a special treat. I thought that I would use our aunt Jo's original yeast dinner roll recipe as a foundation to make steakhouse dinner rolls. They turned out so wonderful I wanted to share it with you.
Step 1: Recipe
3 Large eggs
3/4 Cup molasses (don't use black strap)
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup Salted butter If using unsalted butter add salt to this recipe.
2 Packages of dry yeast regular
1 1/4 Cups warm tap water
1 Cup Almost heaping whole wheat flour
5 Cups unbleached white flour almost heaping
Pam or oil to grease pans.
Makes approximately 12 large dinner rolls.
If you are watching your sugar you may omit the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the molasses but the bread will not be the dark color.
These are sweet dinner rolls.
Step 2: Utensils
Kitchen-Aide mixer makes it much easier but you can knead the dough by hand like I did.
Several different bowls
Measuring cups liquid and dry
Glass baking pan 9 X13 X 2 Pyrex works nicely. Glass pans will brown the bottoms of the rolls better.
If making an extra batch of rolls these can be frozen in a zip lock bag for about 6 months.
Remove frozen rolls from the freezer and thaw in Micro-wave when needed. I never microwave in plastic bags. I use glass containers.
Step 3: Measure Ingredients
Measure all ingredients as shown.
Step 4: Yeast
Soften the yeast in 1/2 cup of the measured water reserving the rest of the water when mixing the dough.
I do not know why it is best to use a wooden spoon but it is.
Let stand for 10 minutes or until it is bubbly.
Step 5: Mix Eggs
While you are waiting for the yeast to bubble you can mix the eggs.
Step 6: Mix Liquids
In large bowl combine the yeast/water mixture, molasses, brown sugar, softened butter, salt, egg, and wheat flour.
Mix until smooth.
Step 7: Mix in the White Flour
Gradually mix in the white flour stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add the remaining water slowly as needed alternating the water and flour as you go.
Mix thoroughly until the dough is well mixed and all the water and flour is used.
Please note: The dough should be smooth and not sticky. It should be pliable and elastic.
After a total of 6 cups of flour have been worked into the dough to form a rather stiff dough, oil another bowl and place the dough in it and turn it over to get some of the oil on the other side. Cover it with a clean towel and place it in a warm place to rise away from drafts until it is double in size. Set the timer for 1 hour and check to see if it is double in size. If it has not risen double allow it to rise more. Mine took 2 hours. I do not know if altitude makes a difference or not.
If the dough seems too dry to form a ball add very small amounts of warm water as needed.
If the dough seems too wet and sticky slowly add small amounts of flour as needed. If the dough is too sticky the rolls will not have a nice rounded plump top.
Step 8: Punch Down the Dough
Punch down the dough and pinch off a plum-size ball of dough, roll it into a ball between both hands, and place them evenly in the baking pan.
Place them in a warm place away from any drafts uncovered until they are plump filling the pan. This should take about 45 minutes. If you allow them to rise too much they will spill over the pan.
Set timer for 45 minutes and check on them. If they need to rise longer try 10 minutes and check on them again.
Step 9: Grease Pans
While you are waiting for the dough to rise grease the pans with oil, butter, or Pam.
Step 10: Bake
Preheat the oven at 375degrees.
Bake rolls for 15 minutes or until the crust makes a hollow sound when tapped.
It took my rolls 20 minutes.
Remove rolls from oven.
Spread the roll tops with butter to give it a nice golden brown look.
This will also soften the crust.
Let completely cool.
Cut the rolls carefully with a knife evenly, when you do this they fit into the bag like they came out of the oven. Very pretty.
Place into a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
Step 11: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts . . . .
These rolls came pretty close to how I remember the steakhouse rolls we loved so much. This will be another family favorite bread from our aunt Jo's original recipe. Aunt Jo has fond memories of her mother when she bakes this bread. Who would have known that a recipe that was over 100 years old could bring such comfort to an 85 year old woman.
I found a useful link about how to make bread and will add it to my cookbook. I am sharing it here: http://dinnercoop.cs.cmu.edu/dinnercoop/Recipes/breadtips.html.
Here is a copy cat recipe for Outback bread from aunt Jo's original recipe: https://www.instructables.com/id/Outback-Copy-Cat-Recipe-From-Aunt-Jo/. I have added aunt Jo's original recipe to this link. It is well worth checking out.
Thank you for stopping by and have a great day!