Growing up we really only had dinner rolls for holidays or special occasion dinners (ie company); and they were almost always store bought. When I got married I learned how much my husband LOVES dinner rolls. His mom made them often and they never lasted long in a house with five children. She served them anytime we came to visit and they are really soft, buttery rolls- very good! Within my first year of marriage I asked my Mother-in-Law for her roll recipe and went to work trying to make them. The recipe yielded A LOT of rolls and I remember it took FOREVER to make (start them mid morning if you want them for dinner type of rolls) and it called for boxed mashed potatoes (something I never seemed to have on hand).
Every few months I would try again to make them and they never turned out like my MIL’s despite all my practice. A few years later we moved to Arizona and I met my dear friend Sara. She invited us over for dinner and made the best dinner rolls! I asked her for the recipe- thinking I’d give dinner rolls another try. She told me the recipe came from her aunt and they had adapted it and altered it together to create what she now used. The recipe was called Moments Notice Rolls. They take about an hour and a half start to finish- yup, you read that right-and yes, they are yeast rolls.
I’ve been making Sara’s recipe for years now and I have shared this recipe with countless friends. This is the recipe that I adapted to create my Soft Cinnamon Rolls (that is all over pinterest now!) This recipe yields about a dozen and a half rolls and can easily be doubled.
Moments Notice Rolls
1 1/4c WARM water
1/4c. white sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast (I use rapid rise)
1 teaspoon of salt
3 1/4c white flour
Mix warm water, oil, sugar and yeast together and let sit for 15 min. This should be long enough for the yeast to activate. FYI if you (like me) keep your yeast in the freezer, bring it to room temperature before you use it in this recipe. Yeast should be bubbly like this after the 15min.
With a wooden spoon mix in salt, egg, and flour. This dough will not be soft and smooth like bread dough, it will be sticky. You may add a Tablespoon or two of extra flour to make it easier to handle. It should stick to the spoon but not be runny. Let rise in a warm place for 10min.
Lay dough on a floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 8″ x 12″, dough should be 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick. Cut your dough into 2″x4″ rectangles. Roll the rectangles up (like a jelly roll) and then fold them in half, creating a smooth dome on one side. (all measurements are approximate, if your rectangles are bigger or smaller that’s fine- do what works!) Place the dome side up on a cookie sheet or baking pan.
Create a proofer in your own oven. Preheat your oven to 170, when the oven reaches 170 turn it off. Place a bowl of hot steamy water (be sure to remove the bowl before baking!) on the bottom rack of your oven and place the rolls on the top rack. Close the oven door and let them rise for a minimum of 20min, longer if you have the time. Bake at 425 for 12-18min- you don’t want them too brown or too doughy. If you are so inclined (i usually don’t) brush the tops with butter before you serve.
They are perfect for Sunday dinner, chicken salad and my favorite lunch of a slice of tillamook cheese and mesquite smoked turkey!
p.s. all temperatures are measured in Fahrenheit