I make my own rolls at Thanksgiving because they are so good! The actual hands on time to prepare the rolls is minimal and so worth the effort. I love the fresh yeast smell and if you time it right you can pull them fresh out of the oven right before dinner. This year I tried a new recipe from Rick Rodgers, Thanksgiving 101. I followed the recipe as written except I cut the amount of sugar in half. I left the rolls plain, rolled them into balls and brushed them with butter.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen
1 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for brushing on the rolls
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1/4 cup warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes until creamy.
2. Place the buttermilk in a 1 quart glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until warm. Stir in the the yeast mixture, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and baking soda.
3. Mix the flour and salt in large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the liquid ingredients and mix until dough begins to hold together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour if dough becomes sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a large buttered bowl. Turn the dough to coat it in butter, leaving the smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm draft free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Punch the dough down, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a thick rope. Cut each rope into 9 equal pieces to make 18 total rolls. Place a piece of the dough on the work surface. Lightly flour your hands and begin rolling the dough into a ball. The bottom of the dough will stick to the surface as you roll the ball holding your hand like a cage over the ball and applying gentle but constant pressure to the sides as you roll it into a smooth sphere. Repeat with the remaining dough, transferring the rolls to the prepared pans, allowing 9 rolls on each pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until almost doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
7. Brush the tops of the rolls lightly with melted butter. Bake until golden brown about 20 minutes. Remove from the pans and serve warm.