Every Thanksgiving, my Aunt Jane always makes the rolls. Her yeast rolls are about the best ones I know of (besides Texas Roadhouse) and they are normally the first thing to disappear off the buffet table! We always rave about them and she keeps saying how simple they are to make. And every year, she tells me that next year, she's going to "pass the torch" and that I will have to make them. I actually did try once... a very long time ago, but the results were so disasterous that I decided if it was up to me to make them, we would just have to do without rolls!
After Carrie's attempt to make homemade cinnamon rolls, and another threat from Aunt Jane to quit making them, I mustered up my courage and decided that I might actually try to make them on an occasion where if they failed, no one would be expecting anything! So... on the Friday night after Thanksgiving, after conferring with mom and Aunt Jane about ingredients, I began my yeast roll making adventure. Here's the recipe and a few pictures of the process/results!
In a large bowl (and I do mean large) combine:
1 pkg dry active yeast (not the rapid rise kind)
3 cups All Purpose flour
After mixing well, add:
Slowly work 4 cups of flour into the mixture until it gets extremely difficult to stir. Notice the bowl change... my dough got a little too big for the bowl I started with! After mixing in all your ingredients, set in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for one hour. Cover and refrigerate over night.
Using plenty of flour, knead the dough until it is slightly rubbery. For those of you who aren't familiar with the process of kneading, my aunt gave me the following instructions "Press down, make a quarter turn, fold over and press down again." Keep kneading until you have incorporated about one more cup of flour into the dough. Make sure your rolling pin and surface stay covered with flour or your dough will stick to everything.
Roll the dough out very thin. If you don't roll it think enough, then you will have fewer rolls, but they will be huge and possibly a little doughy. Use a biscuit cutter to cut them into circles. Since I didn't have a biscuit cutter, I had to improvise and used a jar ring to cut them. It actually worked pretty good.
After you cut your circles, dip them into melted butter, fold in half and place on a cookie sheet. Make sure to leave some room between them so that they have room to rise. If you do this correctly, you should have at least two cookie sheets of rolls.
Cover with a towel and sit the rolls in a warm place to rise for three or four hours before you bake them. I had to put them on top of my stove while I was baking the stuffing and pie to have the room warm enough to make the dough rise.
And Ta-Da! The finished product... I still need a little practice, but Eric and Daddy both said they were more than edible.