For me, about half the fun of the holidays is the food.
Recipes that get pulled out and dusted off only once a year almost seem yummier because of all the anticipation.
For example, one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving each year is the Peaches and Cream Pancakes we have for breakfast.
Sure they’re delicious, but I’m convinced that they taste better than they should because we only have them once a year.
Growing up, my mom made these “Rising on Ice” rolls for the holidays and they were always a big hit. I have memories of Thanksgiving in my Aunt Kelly’s basement where we would all be seated around the longest table you can imagine. Aunts, uncles and cousins would rave about “Aunt Laurie’s Homemade Rolls” as they gobbled them up topped with thick pats of butter.
There’s something awesome about a good, buttery sweet yeast roll. Store bought rolls just can’t compete.
These rolls do require some time and effort, but they are meant to be made the day before you eat them so they can “rise on ice” in the fridge overnight.
This means they won’t add any stress to the actual holiday. All you do the day of, is pop them in the oven for 20 minutes and BAM! delicious, homemade dinner rolls that will keep your guests coming back to pull off just one more from the pretty round “loaf” they form.
Your kitchen will smell like a bit of heaven when these guys are baking. This yeast dough is the perfect balance of buttery and sweet. The golden tops of each roll are brushed with butter right after baking and I think that gives them a lovely finish.
I’m excited to share these with you because I know you’ll love them, but also because it’s high time I convert my crumpled, stained, chicken scratch recipe into something easier to read!
These two sheets of scrap paper are covered front and back with my sloppy handwriting and I always have to figure out what on earth I wrote as well as which order they go in.
It’ll be nice to have this recipe here on the blog so I can just pop over to the Recipe Index and look them up!
Ok, enough chatter….here’s the recipe!
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 packs of active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ stick salted butter
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- Crisco or other shortening for greasing baking pans
- Take 2 eggs out of the fridge before you get started. This will give them time to come to room temperature!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with the sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, mix the milk, water and butter over low heat until it reaches 120-130* (A thermometer is VERY helpful for this step. My mom swears you can do a "finger test" whereby you stick your finger in the liquid and if you don't get scorched, but it's too hot to leave your finger in for any length of time, then it's ready. I HATE THAT METHOD. Get a thermometer. They're cheap.) The temperature thing is important…too hot and you'll "kill" the yeast and too cold and it won't activate.
- Once your milk/water/butter mixture is at the proper temp, gradually add it to the dry ingredients and beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
- Add the 2 room temperature eggs and ¾ cup flour and beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
- Stir in enough additional flour to stiffen up the dough a little. This is usually about 1 cup, but less is better. The dough will still be slightly sticky, but manageable.
- Flour a clean surface, sprinkle your hands with flour and knead the dough by hand for 8-10 minutes. Set a timer and don't short cut this stage. You will end up with smooth, elastic dough.
- Put the fully kneaded dough into a large glass mixing bowl and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and then a clean dish towel.
- Set aside for 20 minutes (a warm, dark corner of the kitchen counter is ideal)
- Grease 2 round cake pans with Crisco or other shortening and set aside.
- After 20 minutes, remove the dish towel and plastic wrap from the dough bowl and punch the center of the now-risen dough. (Just one punch to the middle is fine)
- Divide dough into 2 equal halves.
- Starting with the first half, cut small sections of dough to form 15-17 rolls. Roll each piece between your hands to create a smooth "ball". Place them into first round cake pan, leaving space between each for them to rise.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough and the second cake pan.
- Loosely cover each cake pan with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 2-24 hours where the dough with "rise on ice".
- Let the rolls stand at room temp for 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes (no more than 20!). The tops will be golden and the loaves will sound hollow when you tap them.
- While they are still hot, rub a firm stick of butter over the each roll on both loaves.
- Remove loaves from round pans and place on a wire rack to cool.