1 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/4 c. sugar
3 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
Oven Temperature: 375
Baking Time: 12-15 minutes
Combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Make sure the water is warm enough to activate the yeast, but not so warm that it kills it. (If the water feels hot to your finger, it might be a little too warm. If the water feels lukewarm to your finger, it’s not warm enough. Find that happy medium between the two!)
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and give it a quick stir. Add in the activated yeast mixture. While that’s mixing together (I use my stand mixer), you’ll add the egg and softened butter. Continue to allow the dough to mix for close to 5 minutes, just to activate all the gluten so your rolls will be nice and fluffy.
Once your dough has been thoroughly combined, you’ll want to place it into a large, lightly greased bowl. The dough will be slightly sticky, but not to the point that it’s stuck all over your hands. If your dough is that sticky, it’s time to add a tiny bit more flour (maybe 1/8 or 1/4 c.) and allow it to mix in well. Cover the dough with plastic wrap that has also been sprayed with non-stick spray so that your dough won’t stick to it once it rises. Place it in a warm oven–having the oven light on keeps a steady and warm enough temperature to assist in the rising process.
Once your dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour, you’ll want to punch it down so that it deflates. Now it’s time to call in the reserves–my kids love to help me shape the dough into dinner rolls. Divide the dough into 16 portions and shape each of them into a ball. Place them 2″ apart on a baking sheet (parchment covered is the best to make sure they won’t end up sticking to the sheet). Cover and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When it’s ready, bake the rolls for 12-15 minutes, until they are golden brown. If you wish, you may brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter after they come out of the oven so that they stay super soft, and sprinkle with coarse salt if you desire.