Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to have hot, fresh rolls anytime

For our Easter dinner after church with friends, I wanted to serve hot, fresh rolls. I admit that I am something of a bread snob, especially regarding dinner rolls. There is just nothing like having freshly made bread to top off a meal. Of course, I wasn't going to have time after church to make fresh yeast rolls before everyone showed up to eat lunch. So I employed a trick I've often used in order to have fresh rolls after church or for supper after a busy afternoon.

Start off by making your favorite yeast roll recipe. I've used recipes from the bread machine (using the dough cycle) or by hand. This particular one is my friend Candace's recipe. Let the dough rise once and then punch it down. Then form it into balls and place on baking sheets, plates, cutting boards, anything flat that will fit in your freezer. You can put them almost touching because they won't have time to rise.
As soon as you are done, pop them in the freezer. And then if you are like me, set the timer for 30 to 45 minutes. I'm forgetful and have left rolls in for days like this because I didn't set a reminder timer. (Please excuse my messy freezer. I can never seem to keep it clean and organized.)
At the end of the 30-45 minutes, take them out of the freezer and pop them into a Ziploc bag, and immediately put them right back in the freezer.
There now - you have just made yourself a gold mine. Ready to rise homemade dinner rolls. Yum!

About four hours before you are ready to bake them, take them out of the freezer bag. The flash freezing you did just after forming should have frozen them just enough so that they don't stick together. Set the frozen dough balls on the pan; this time leave plenty of room in between for them to rise.
Cover with clean towels and leave alone for about 4 hours.
Come home and you'll find these beauties awaiting you.
Just preheat the oven and pop them in when the oven is ready. You'll have hot, fresh rolls ready to eat just minutes after you walk in the door. Goes great with crockpot dishes! Happy baking!

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