This past holiday weekend we found ourselves looking at the clock which was counting down to Easter dinner and frantically flipping through our cookbooks to find some sort of quick yeast roll. Although the good ones can take anywhere from 4-18 hours, we needed something more in the 30 minute range. Although this seemed like a tough order to fill, we came across this recipe from Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics. It claimed to have raised yeast rolls in 40 minutes from ingredients to baked off nuggets of golden buttery goodness — and it more than held up its end of the bargain.
These rolls have a flaky texture that's slightly heavy like that of a biscuit, while at the same time feeling light and yeasty like a good roll. Although that sounds contradictory we promise you they're not and that they're just good eats. We did discover however that if you allow them to sit in the refrigerator for more than a half hour, the texture will become more "roll-ish" and less "biscuit-ish." The ones we made for Easter dinner (which were devoured, leaving us without a picture to show) chilled for an hour or so and we baked them on site instead of before we left to gather with family.
We brushed the final product with butter and sprinkled with a small dash of kosher salt. They were delicious with our meal and have been a fabulous little vessels to hold small bits of leftover meats from dinner over the last few hours. They're exactly what you want in a biscuit for a breakfast sandwich and light enough to serve as the go to, last minute roll recipe to round out dinner. Yeah versatility! Here's how to make up a batch:
Paula Deen Kitchen Classics
Yields 24 Rolls
1 package or 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups all purpose flour
Proof yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and set aside. Cream shortening, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. If your shortening is at room temperature, this is easily done by hand. Add boiling water and stir to remove shortening mixture from the side of the bowl (it will be chunky and soupy). Add egg to yeast and stir to combine. Add egg/yeast mixture to shortening/water mixture. Quickly stir in flour mixture and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Allow to sit on the counter for 30 minutes. At this point you can refrigerate the mixture until needed (up to 12 hours).
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and shape slightly to form the dough into a square. Divide dough in half and each half again. Cut each square into 6 pieces. Place on greased or parchment papered cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt if desired and enjoy!
• Related: Recipe: Potato Dough Rolls
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)