A lot of people never learn how to bake bread, and when I got married many years ago, I didn’t know how and never thought I would. However, my new husband wanted me to know how. His mother knew how, and he thought I should know how too. It drove me crazy because he wanted me to know everything his mother knew and do everything how his mother did it. I cooperated, but it drove me crazy. In the case of learning to make bread, it was a great thing to learn. I read cook books and experimented. I learned how to make homemade bread, and I have never been sorry that I learned it. When we lived in Nigeria, when we brought a loaf of bread and cut it to it finding a stick on the inside, I began making all our bread. After we left Nigeria, I stopped making all the bread, but I continued making it on special occasions, and my kids loved it! I can make many different kinds of bread now. I have changed, combined, and made up recipes. The bread that I made today is one of my own creations.
The ingredients are: yeast, eggs, sugar, water, and flour. You will also need some cooking oil and some cooking butter.
I begin with yeast. For a normal recipe of yeast bread, you need two packages of yeast.
After you put the yeast in the bowl, it is time for some liquid. I like to use just plain water. If you read other recipes, they tell you to add just a little warm water to the yeast, but I add all the water at once. I put two cups (450 grams) of water in my measuring cup, then put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. When I take it out, it is hot, but not too hot. I can still put my finger in it without it burning, like really hot bath water. If you get it too hot, you will kill the yeast. If it isn’t hot enough, the yeast won’t work. I add the water to the yeast and mix it with a wire whip.
Next, I add a scant cup of sugar and mix it around. You don’t have to use that much sugar, but you need sugar to make the yeast work. I make my dinner rolls sweet because I learned a long time ago that if they are sweet, people eat them up and think they are scrumptious, but if you just put the bare minimum of sugar in them, they are not as popular.
I put three eggs in a separate bowl and mix them with my wire whip.
After that, I put three eggs in a bowl and mix them with my wire whip, then I add the three eggs to the water, yeast, and sugar mixture and mix it.
The dough will get thicker every time you add another cup of flour. After the fourth cup, don’t use the wire whip, but a spoon.
In total, I will use a little more than 6 cups of flour, but I don’t put it all in at the same time. I begin with just one cup (225 grams) of flour. I add one cup of flour to my mixture and mix it with the wire whip, then another, and mix it with the wire whip again. I add two more cups separately, mixing it with the wire whip after each time. When I put the fifth cup of flour in, I take out the wire whip because it won’t work anymore because the dough has become too stiff. I mix it with a spoon. Next, I put in the last cup of flour and mix it with the spoon.
After that, I take some handfuls of flour and throw them on top of the dough and around the dough. I make sure my hand is covered with flour. The extra flour will stop your hand from sticking when you touch the flour.
Pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl with your hand that had flour on it. Fold the dough in half and push it down. Just keep pulling the dough up, folding it half and pushing it. You are kneading the dough. Just keep kneading the dough. Make sure you are pushing all the flour into the dough. All of the outside of the dough will not be sticky if you have enough flour. If the dough is still sticky on the outside, add a little more flour and push it into the dough. Turn the big dough ball over and make sure it isn’t sticky on the bottom either. Just keep kneading it.
When you are satisfied that all the flour is pushed into the dough and the dough isn’t sticky, get out another mixing bowl. Put some oil in the bottom of the other mixing bowl. Put the dough in the bowl with the oil in it, then pick up the dough and turn it over making sure there is oil on all the outsides of the dough.
Put the dough aside in a warm place and cover it with a clean dish towel. You are going to leave it sitting there a couple of hours, until the dough rises and becomes at least double in size. –Take a break and do something else.
After a couple of hours, your dough will have risen. Take out a big flat pan and cover it with oil. Take out a small amount of dough and make it round and flat. After that, turn roll it up, and then place the roll on the oiled pan. Do all the dough the same way with a little space between the rolls because they will grow. I had to use two pans because my pan wasn’t quite big enough. Your dough will feel oily on the outside, and because of the oil, it won’t stick to your hands. There are other ways to shape the rolls, but I choose to do it this way because this is the way regular loaves are formed, and it is easier than shaping them another way.
After all the rolls are shaped, set them aside again. There are dinner roll recipes that don’t require you to let the rolls rise a second time, but these rolls should be left to rise another time. Cover the rolls with the clean dish towel again and take another break.
After a couple of hours, your rolls will have grown, and they are ready to bake. Turn your oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oven and let it get hot before you put the bread in. After a few minutes, the oven will be warm enough, so put the rolls in the oven. Bake them for 15-10 minutes. Since my oven is small and the bread grows, I took one of the wracks out because I didn’t want my bread growing and hitting the wrack above them. I only baked one pan at a time because of the size of my oven.
When the rolls were finished, I took them out of the oven and used cooking butter and rubbed it on the top of the dinner rolls while they were still warm. It really helps them taste better. I am so glad I learned to bake bread because these rolls are delicious!! They are better than anything you can buy in the store.