Creatively Transforming Food

Yeast Rolls


Bitter cold weather, thanks to Winter Storm Helena has harbored me to my kitchen for warmth. Soup must have rolls to accompany them. Searching  through my pile of recipes yet to blog, I came across these Yeast Rolls I haven’t made for a while. A hand written copy written by Murna,  a dear friend and colleague of 20 years who passed away in 2004, had been typed up and saved as part of my favorite recipe collection. One year, these were copied  and placed in binders and given to my boys and other family members. That was my pre-blogging days.

Let me tell you a little about Murna. Kindness was always a trait which followed her wherever she went. She was hired as a paraprofessional during one of my first years teaching. Her daughter, Julie, was in kindergarten the year she started her adventure with me. The soft, caring tone of her voice made her approachable by many students whom she patiently assisted with their math skills. Murna was giving of her time as well as her heart. Each Christmas I put out the 3 small stockings she made for each of my sons as well as another quilted stocking she gave to me. Some of my fondest  memories come from her sharing food that I can still enjoy to this day because I was blessed to receive a copy of the recipes. She was an incredible cook! Another favorite of my boys was her Caramel Popcorn. I haven’t posted that yet, but I can see it in my blogging future.

Murna’s recipe included powdered milk, of which I had none. The driving situation outside prohibited a run to the store, so I replaced the water with milk and left out the powdered milk. I’ve included notes on my adjustments in the recipe below. The instructions listed below are hers, but I chose to use my KitchenAid with a dough hook for convenience. I don’t think she would mind.  Below, the yeast is poured into 3/4 cup of  warmed milk, whisking to help dissolve. Set aside.

The 1 1/2 cups of milk was warmed in the microwave along with the 1/4 c. of butter(1/2 stick), salt and sugar until butter is melted. Whisk together to help dissolve the sugar and salt. Let it cool to about 100 degrees.

I combined the two milk mixtures in the large KItchenAid mixing bowl before adding the flour. Gradually add flour. Using dough hook, continue to mix/knead until dough pulls away from bowl and is wrapped around dough hook. Remove from bowl. If you are not using the KitchenAid to do this, refer to specific kneading instructions below. Place dough in a lightly oiled glass bowl, turning over to also coat the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.

Turn the dough over onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on the top and knead briefly and split into 3 equal portions, one for each cake pan. I used my kitchen scale to assist with this process.

Break each portion into 14 pieces. You can weigh these too, to ensure equal sizes, or just eyeball their size. (These were around 0.082-0.084 pounds each.) I folded each small piece twice, pressed it over my index and middle finger, pulled bottom edges together, twisting them to close then placed them in a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic and place in a warm location.

Allow them to double in size. I made a double batch this day, purely by accident. When I read the recipe, it said, 1/2 stick of butter. I used 1/2 cup of butter, a whole stick. Whoops! Fortunately, I had enough yeast and flour to make a double batch.

If your kitchen is cool, it may take a little longer. You can place them near a warm oven or even in sunlight. I’ve also preheated my oven to 200 degrees, then turned it off. Place the rolls, without plastic, on oven racks. Watch until they have doubled in size. I’ve also placed boiling water  in a pan below the racks to create a warm atmosphere in the oven without preheating it. Your choice. I just chose to wait it out.

I baked 3 pans in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 25 minutes. When they came out, I brushed them with a tablespoon of melted butter. I’m hoping Murna would approve of my effort. I can see her smiling now.

These rolls can be frozen before they rise the second time. Take out from the freezer in time to thaw and rise.  They can also be frozen after baking by tightly wrapping in foil and placed in a plastic bag. In both cases, they should probably be used within a month.

Yeast Rollls

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 42 rolls

  • ¾ c. milk (heated to115 degrees)-see notes below
  • 2 pkgs. yeast
  • 1½ c. milk-see notes below
  • 2 t. salt
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. butter (1/2 stick)
  • 5½ c. flour ( I used bread flour.)
  1. Dissolve yeast in the ¾ cup of warmed milk and set aside.
  2. Microwave the other ingredients, except the flour, until the butter is melted. Cool to about 100 degrees.
  3. Combine it with the dissolved yeast in a large bowl.
  4. Gradually add the flour, stirring well between additions until dough is ready to knead.
  5. Knead approximately 10 minutes, working in a small amount of flour as needed so dough won't stick to hands and dough board.
  6. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, not sticky!
  7. Pour a small amount of oil into bowl. Put dough in bowl then turn dough over so top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Let rise in warm place 1½ to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  9. Knead down then form either rolls(14 rolls per pan /3 cake pans) or bread loaves. Spray pans before placing in rolls/bread. Cover pans with plastic wrap. Let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn out onto racks, turn over and butter tops while hot, if desired.
Original recipe adaptations:
Yeast was dissolved is ¾ cup of water, not milk.
Instead of 1½ cups of milk, she used water and ¾ cup of powdered milk.
I used bread flour instead of all purpose flour.
Instructions were listed above as written by Murna.
I used my Kitchen Aid with its dough hook as described above.




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