There are certain foods that you should just not go without when Christmas dinner comes to town. And for me, that would be dinner rolls (or biscuits, as my dad never fails to mistakenly call them, and finding himself in the doghouse. my parents are one of a kind).
As you can tell, I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman more than once while planning our Christmas menu. I love her website. I made her Parker House rolls, but to my surprise, I would not recommend her recipe, and here's why: it was too much work. They were delicious, but for me, too time consuming. For now on, I'll probably stick with my favorite tried and true dinner roll recipe, which comes from Janet Stocks, my Basic Food Prep instructor at BYU. These are so easy, that you'll never feel the need to buy frozen rolls again (quite frankly, I've never purchased frozen rolls, all the crazy thawing instructions kind of overwhelm me. I thinks its easier- and cheaper- to just make them myself).
1/2 cup warm water
2 TB yeast
2 cups scalded milk, then slightly cooled (I zap mine in the mircrowave for 2 minutes).
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
2 tsp salt
5-6 cups flour (you can use white flour, bread flour, and sometimes I add in a cup or two of wheat flour)
*I make these in my stand-up mixer using the dough hook.
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Combine scalded milk, sugar, shortening, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.
3. Beat in eggs and yeast.
4. Add enough flour to make a soft dough.
5. Mix or knead on countertop well. (I always knead by hand. I LOVE the feeling of the warm dough between my hands. And I also love wearing an apron while I do this. It makes me feel so old-fashioned).
6. Let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes. You know its ready when you poke it, and the indentation of your fingerprint doesn't bounce back.
7. Shape as desired. (This is a blog post all its own, I will do someday. There are so many fun things you can do- traditional rolls, parker house style, peel aparts, knots, clovers, breadsticks, braids, wreaths. This same dough can be used for cinnamon rolls, sweet breads, etc).
8. Let rise again, 10 minutes or so.
9. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.