I've been meaning to write this post forever and kept putting it off, mainly because I lost the photos and it wouldn't be good without pictures - luckily I found them just this week. I just wish I had done this sooner so my wonderful grandmother could read it herself, but I know she is watching me write it now. :)
My grandmother Meme made the best dinner rolls ever. I can remember my dad videotaping her making the rolls during one of our summer trips to KY. We came home and he tried almost every day to recreate her rolls. They turned out horrible to start and he eventually asked her what he was doing wrong...turns out he forgot to tape the part where she added the sugar! One day he finally got it right and we had delicious rolls, and after that he never made them again.
This past summer I had the opportunity to make the rolls with my grandmother and watch the magic happen. I took care to measure out the flour (since of course she doesn't measure) but I somehow didn't translate that measurement to paper. I tried to make these by myself on Thanksgiving, but they didn't turn out very well. I even had to make two batches because Kris ruined the first ones before they could even rise (he put them on top of the oven vent so the dough started to cook - silly boy). I guess practice will have to make perfect, but I am really trying to stay on a diet so making rolls is not the best idea.
You need to plan ahead if you want these rolls for dinner - they need time to rise and Meme said that they are better the more times you are able to punch them down and let them rise. Just like Nana's macaroni and cheese, maybe one day I will get these rolls right and carry on the tradition.
Meme's Famous Rolls
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 c warm water
1 t salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1/2 c warm water
1 c cold water
Flour - lots of flour - at least 4 cups but probably more
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 c warm water and let sit for a few minutes
2. In a large bowl combine salt, sugar, oil, warm water, and cold water.3. Add in dissolved yeast4. Stir in flour until the mixture is thick, but will still be stickyKris had to lend some elbow grease :)This is what the dough should look like before setting out to rise:5. Put in a warm place and cover with a towel and let it rise until coming out of the bowl (not sure how long this will take - maybe an hour). Punch down and rise again as many times as you can, keeping in mind that after you roll them out and cut them they will need to rise up once more before baking.
6. Turn out the punched down dough on a floured surface. Knead the dough with more flour until it isn't sticky. You will probably use a lot of flour here too - sorry I don't have the exact measurements but I will update it once I make these again someday. My grandmother says the more you work the dough the better so knead away!
7. After done kneading, roll out the dough.Cut the rolls and place in a greased baking dish. Put in a warm place and let rise. We were so busy playing cards and then stuffing our faces that I forgot to take pictures of the final product, but make sure to let those rolls rise until they are at least doubled in size, maybe more before baking.
8. Here is my grandmother's secret - start the rolls out in a cold/warm oven - not a fully preheated oven. Start them out with the oven at say 250 and then gradually increase the oven temperature to 350 or 400 - I just realized I didn't write that down either and don't know the final baking temperature but will find out for you!
9. They will take about 40 minutes to bake, and once they are golden brown remove and enjoy!