This is my grandmother's roll recipe from my dad's side, written in my mother's hand on a small piece of notebook paper. It didn't even state what the recipe was until a few years ago when I quickly penned in "Rolls" at the top. For as long as I can remember, my family has been making these rolls. We've had them for Easter, Thanksgiving, and who knows how many Sunday dinners. They happen to be quick, tasty, perfect for leftover turkey or ham sandwiches, and as it turns out- made for a crowd.
But it seems that I forgot just how much it made. In a rush, I pulled them out for Easter dinner. I quickly scanned the ingredient list and seeing it only called for five cups of flour, proceeded forward. It wasn't until I had already mixed in the yeast, oil, and egg that it calls for...FIVE more CUPS of flour- What?! Needless to say, I ended up with an excess of four cookie sheets worth of tasty rolls. My grandmother must have been feeding our entire extended family when she passed on the recipe. We all gorged ourselves on as many rolls as we could eat, even sneaking a few after dinner. And I froze the rest -which isn't so bad in the end.
I've given you the original recipe- as you can see passed down from memory to paper and now to computer, from my grandmother to my mother to me.
Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls (or Grandma's rolls)from the kitchen of Inez Peterson
6 TBS yeast
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup oil
1 tsp salt
10 cups flour- divided
flour for rolling
melted butter- optional
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease 2-4 baking sheets or line with parchment or silpats.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Stir to combine. Let rise for 15 minutes.
3. Add to yeast mixture: egg, oil, salt, and FIVE cups of flour. Stir to combine. Dough will be sticky and wet. Continue to stir until all flour is wet and all ingredients are well combines.
4. Add five more cups of flour, one at a time until dough forms a soft, cohesive, but slightly shaggy dough.
5. Dump dough out onto a well-floured board, mat, or counter. Continue to knead by hand a few strokes until a dough becomes smooth.
6. If needed, re-flour board to prevent sticking, and roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Using a floured biscuit cutter (you can use a floured glass in a pinch) cut dough into circles. Fold each circle in half and place in baking sheet about 1/4 in. apart. Using your index and middle fingers, gently press the folded dough together. (think poking it with your first two fingers).
7. After the cookie sheet is full, let rolls rise about five minutes.
8. Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter, if desired.
P.S. When talking with my older sister, she reminded me of a time when we made these at my daughter's baby blessing. Still noticing that it only called for five cups of flour, we doubled the recipe knowing we needed a lot for the big family gathering. Well, 20 cups of flour later, it was all my mom, sisters, grandmas and I could do to get the dough rolled out, cut, and into the oven before it rose up over the bowls, counter and pans. We spent the afternoon baking them all up and sent everyone home after dinner with at least dozen rolls!