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Toyin Spellman-Diaz’s Dinner Rolls

This is my grandfather’s dinner roll recipe. Grandpa used to make these rolls at the swanky hotel he worked for in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the forties and fifties. They have been a family holiday favorite for generations, with my dad making them first and now my sister and I both making them. They now HAVE to be at every family gathering or there will be a riot!


Dinner Rolls

1 (1/4-ounce) package dry active yeast

1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk, scalded but cooled to warm

4 ounces melted butter, plus 2 ounces

5 cups flour, plus more, as needed

6-cup, 3-inch muffin tin pan

In a standing mixing bowl with dough hook, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit until lightly foamy, then stir in sugar and add egg, salt, warm milk, and 4 ounces of butter. Slowly add 5 cups flour, adding more as needed to make an elastic dough. Mix well, then roll out to floured surface and knead dough for about 5 minutes.

Place dough in buttered bowl, cover with towel, and set in a warm place to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Lightly oil the muffin pan. Punch down dough and form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 3 balls in each muffin tin. Fill muffin pan, cover with towel, and allow to rise an additional 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush with remaining melted butter. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

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