Dinner Rolls for a Crowd

Reader Contribution by Sue Van Slooten
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Many of you are no doubt into the countdown for Thanksgiving this week, with a crowd of folks coming for the feast. Here is a recipe from Canada that really makes white dinner rolls for a crowd, 3½ to 4 dozen in fact. But before we get to that, we have some exciting news from King Arthur Flour: They have a whole raft of great things for you. Most urgently, they have a free shipping day, on Thanksgiving itself! See the link below to access this great promotion. Next up is a gingerbread house decorating contest, beginning Nov. 28 and ending on Dec. 31. All kinds of goodies are being given away as prizes. Thirdly, they have a Holiday Sweepstakes, with a chance to win a $1000 KAF shopping spree, or one of five gift cards valued at a $100. Finally, I was reminded to mention that their Baking Hotline is open for business (like it is all the time), for any holiday baking questions you may have. Please see all the links and info for these great items at the bottom of this blog.

Now back to the dinner rolls. I made this one year, and had dinner rolls for an army. Or, if you have 26 coming for Turkey Day. Seriously. If you are the least bit squeamish about large batch baking, feel free to halve the recipe. I know I will next time. We had dinner rolls for supper every night for nights, about half went in the freezer, well, you get the idea. It’s called Down Drury Lane White Rolls, from a steakhouse of the same name. I’ve taken their basic recipe, but added some dry milk to it for tenderness. I think it really helps. You can use baker’s dry milk, available from KAF, or ordinary dry milk.

2 tsp sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm water

11/2 tbsp dry yeast

3 cups hot water

1/2 cup shortening

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

8 to 9 cups flour

2 to 3 tbsp dry milk powder

Dissolve your sugar in the water, then add the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes. It should get foamy (this is called proofing your yeast); if it doesn’t, you need fresh yeast. Always check the date on your yeast to make sure it’s fresh. In a large bowl, add the shortening, salt, sugar and hot water. Stir to melt the shortening and cool while the yeast is proofing. The water should register 85 degrees F. Stir in the yeast mixture. Now stir in your flour, 2 cups at a time, and the dry milk powder, until it is too stiff to stir. Let rest for 10 minutes. Turn the batter onto a floured board and knead, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. 8 to 10 minutes (or not even) should be enough. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat, cover, and let rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled. Punch down the dough, shape into rolls and place in greased muffin tins. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, again, until doubled. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter and immediately remove from pans.  

This recipe came from a little gem of a paperback cookbook I got while in Nova Scotia, called Maritime Flavours: Guidebook and Cookbook by Elaine Elliot and Virginia Lee. It’s beautifully photographed, the recipes are really good, and gives a good rundown on some of the famous restaurants and inns in the Maritimes.  

Now for your important links:
For the free Thanksgiving Day shipping:http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/landing.jsp?go=HOL12BLOGC&utm_source=HOL23BLOG&utm_medium=blog
For the Gingerbread House Decorating Contest:www.kingarthurflour.com.
For the Holiday Sweepstakes:Enter DAILY from your desktop/laptop: http://on.fb.me/RQKEII or from your mobile device: http://bit.ly/VthRdq
You can read more of Sue Van Slooten’s food adventures at www.suevanslooten.com. You can also see some of my Vt. photos posted there, not just of baking but trains too, among other things. I will try to keep updating my photos. You have to check out the new cool MOTHER icon too. Enjoy!