How can I make fluffy soft dinner rolls?!
OK our yeast might be old and dead. Take a hot - 120 degrees is OK from the tap half cup of water and mix a few pinches of sugar into it. Sprinkle a few pinches of yeast on the top of this mixture and set it in a draft free area like a closed oven or microwave for about 10 minutes.
If you have a big foamy lump on the top of the cup, the yeast is good. Gray water, dead yeast.
My secret is that the liquid needs to be hotter than what most recipes ask for. 110 degrees is too cool. My liquid is about 125 degrees, my rolls are fluffy and win awards.
Make sure you have a decent amount of sugar, some salt and oil or butter/lard.
I agree that you should check the yeast you are using. If you know it is fresh, this is a super easy and yummy dinner roll recipe. They turn out great every time and you can make the dough ahead.
Easy Dinner Rolls
1 cup warm water (105 F to 115 F)
2 pkg active dry yeast (or 5 tsp, if using bulk yeast)
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 -4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
extra melted butter (optional)
Combine the warm water & yeast in a large bowl. Let the mixture stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Stir in butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be needed). Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (or up to 4 days).
Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough into 24 equal-size pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball; place balls in even rows in the prepared pan. Cover and let dough balls rise until double in volume, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Brush warm rolls with melted butter, if desired. Break rolls apart to serve.
A soft, buttered dinner roll perched on the edge of an overflowing plate is a holiday meal essential. Since turning out a fresh, homemade batch of rolls isn’t always manageable, we wondered if we could make the rolls ahead of time, freeze them, and still have them bake up fluffy and delicious. Here’s what we discovered:
Test Kitchen Discoveries
To prevent the dough from drying out, we added extra moisture and fat—butter and shortening—to tenderize the dough and make for a softer crumb after freezing.
An egg added structure and richness to our rolls, while honey kept them moist and tender and lent a slight sweetness.