Lunchroom Lady Rolls
(Makes 8 large rolls)
This recipe is in honor of my long-ago days at St. Francis Elementary School, when, until the 1970s, lunchroom cooks actually prepared everything from scratch. The soft, yeasty bread rolls they baked just about every day were served with dark cane syrup.
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter (plus ¼ stick melted butter)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon iodized salt
1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) yeast
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
2½-3 cups sifted bread flour
1. Bring milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add butter, sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Soften yeast in the lukewarm water and add to milk mixture. In bowl of KitchenAid mixer, add milk and 2½ cups flour. With dough hook, beat on low and add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should come clean from sides of bowl but yet be soft. Raise mixer head to upright position and put plastic wrap directly on top of dough. Let rest 10 minutes. (This step is important. It makes the texture soft).
3. Remove plastic wrap. Put mixer head back down and beat on medium speed for 8 minutes.
4. Remove bowl from mixer, put greased plastic wrap directly on dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
5. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead lightly until surface is smooth. Butter an 11 x 7″ baking pan. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each portion into a ball, brush each ball with melted butter, and place in prepared baking pan. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, 30-40 minutes.
6. About 10 minutes before rolls have finished rising, preheat oven to 375 F. Brush rolls with remaining melted butter and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until dark golden brown.