It’s that time of year again: time for too many desserts dipped in powdered sugar, time to concoct cocktails that taste like candle scents, and, most importantly, time to roast large quantities of meat and pair said meat with the perfect companion. What’s that you say? Roasted vegetables? Some type of potato? A delicious fruit reduction? No, sillies—bread, and, more specifically, rolls. My first thought after I smell a turkey crisping or watch a ham being glazed is how I’m going to deliver those pieces of meat into my mouth. And that’s where the rolls come in.
I’m a simple woman who likes meat on bread. The elegant among you may call this a sandwich, but, in my house, we call it a meat-wich in that the only truly necessary components are meat and bread. But both of those ingredients are so indispensable that if you invite me to your gluten-free / vegetarian holiday celebration, don’t be surprised by what your dog finds in my purse.
I found this roll recipe on Pinterest many, many pins ago, and I’ve made it and tweaked it so many times that Kyle started calling ’em Beckie’s rolls. Or maybe I did, and he fought me on it, but since I won that battle, history favors the carb queen.
The name is also an homage to my favorite family bread, called simply Ruth’s rolls. Why? Because Babe Ruth famously ate them while hitting home runs? Or because some great-great-great-grandma Ruth made them to feed her family of twelve during the great blizzard of 1808? No. Because a lady named Ruth gave my dad the recipe.
I can’t think of a less important reason to name such a critical food after someone. So, when I kept making these rolls, and people kept lavishing praise and thanks upon me time and time again, I thought they were worthy of my name—which isn’t worth much, but certainly a roll.
No real tricks to this particular bread—lightly sweet, so soft and buttery, and equally delicious with honey butter as it is with Christmas ham. Don’t rush the rising process, and you’ll be rewarded with fluffy, pillowy perfection. And, if you like this recipe, feel free to make it your go-to roll. You can even rename it after yourself. Vladimir’s rolls . . . I kinda like the ring of that.
- 3 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 1 ½ cup scalded whole milk, cooled to warm
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 5-6 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons melted butter to brush over baked rolls
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the yeast with sugar and bloom it by pouring the warm water over. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- At the same time, or a little before this process, scald the milk and then let it cool to warm.
- After the milk has cooled slightly and the 15 minutes has passed, add the milk to the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Add about ½ cup of the flour to this mixture to ensure easy incorporation of the other ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Add the butter and the honey; mix until worked into the dough.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, as well as the salt, and mix well.
- Start adding the flour about a cup at a time. You will end up needing almost all of the 6 cups of flour. If you have a kitchen aid mixer, you can attach the dough hook and let the mixer do the kneading for you. In the mixer, it should take approximately 3 minutes on low-medium speed. If you need to add more flour at this time, add a tablespoon at a time. You are looking for a soft, elastic dough that stays together.
- If you don’t have this mixer, take the dough out after working in the flour and place on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is elastic but firm.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let it rise until doubled. This takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
- Once risen, punch the dough down and place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is an inch thick, and using a 2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut rolls from the dough. Or you can cut them into square shapes, also about 2 inches in width, with a pizza cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet about ½ an inch apart from each other.
- At this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the rolls with a towel or plastic wrap, and let them rise again on the top of your warming oven until they have doubled in size. Using the stovetop heat from your warming oven, the rolls will double in size in about 45 minutes.
- Once the rolls have risen, place in oven and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned on both bottom and top.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter. Serve immediately.