There's nothing I like more than the smell of bread rising. The smell of that yeast reminds me of waking up in the morning to eat a hot slice of my mother's delicious homemade bread fresh from the oven. My mom has been an early riser for probably her whole life. Sometimes on Saturdays she would get up way before the rest of the family to grind wheat with an electric flour mill and make fresh homemade bread for us.
Yum! Makes me hungry just thinking about it!
Now I live about 400 miles from my mom but I made myself learn to make homemade bread because I missed it so much. Sadly, I don't have a flour mill, but mom keeps my freezer stocked with flour ground in her mill. It isn't quite the same as the fresh ground flour, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get!
On Sundays, we eat lunch after church with a family that has become very dear to us and has made us like their own. Since I enjoy making homemade bread, I have volunteered to make rolls for lunch so many times in a row that it is now presumed that those rolls will be there every week. Now I am the one up early making bread. I love it! The house is so peaceful early in the morning.
Don't be afraid to make these rolls just because you don't have a stand mixer. Kneading dough by hand is more work but it is worth it!
Sunday Dinner Rolls
1 1/4 cup hot water
4 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp instant yeast
4 +/- cups flour*
*If you want to use whole wheat flour, I usually measure about 1 1/2 cups wheat flour first, then add white flour until dough is the desired consistency.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add water, sugar, salt, and oil. Mix well. Using the dough hook attachment, stir in 1 cup of flour and the yeast. Slowly add flour until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. You don't want to add so much flour that your dough pulls away from the bowl "cleanly." If you do your rolls will be firmer. Leave the dough a little softer for softer rolls.
Use dough hook to knead dough for 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a large greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.*
Punch down dough and divide into 24 balls. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish, cover with a clean towel, and return the dough to the warm spot. Let dough rise for another 1 1/2 hours.
*If you don't need 24 rolls, say for a smaller family, simply freeze dough in balls after the first rising. Move dough to fridge about 24 hours prior to use, and let rise in a warm place for about 4 hours before baking.
Preheat oven to 400F. Bake rolls for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with melted butter for extra yumminess.