Here is a straightforward yet yummy recipe for those of us who are frightened by bread hooks and fail to see why yeast needs to prove itself. Many bread recipes call for 6 1/2 to 7 cups of flour, which is a bit overwhelming – this recipe, which I adapted from one on the side of a bag of flour several years back, is much more manageable. – wssmom
- 1 envelope active yeast
- 1/4 cup warm (100-110 degree) water
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt; less if using regular salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- In a large bowl, sprinke yeast over the top of the warm water; let sit for 5 minutes or so.
- Add to the yeast one cup flour, salt, honey, shortening, and water; using a hand mixer, beat two minutes at medium speed.
- Add about a half-cup flour and stir with a spoon to make a soft dough; add up to another half-cup flour and stir until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. (If you have a heavy-duty mixer, go ahead and use it; mine begins to whine in protest at this point)
- Turn dough onto a floured surface and begin to knead, adding flour as you go to keep dough from getting sticky. After about 10 minutes, the dough should be pretty elastic but not totally smooth. Cover and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 more or less equal pieces; roll into vaguely egg-shaped balls. Place on a greased baking sheet, flatten slightly, cover, and let rise in a warm part of the kitchen until they’re all puffed up, about an hour.
- Combine the cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring all the while, until thick and clear, about two minutes.
- Brush tops of rolls with the cornstarch mixture. Using a sharp serrated knife, make a half-inch deep slash lengthwise across the top of each rolls. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Slather with butter, and enjoy!