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lion house rolls

These rolls are fantastic! If you’re not familiar with the Lion House, it’s a historic building in Salt Lake City that is now a venue for special occasions and meetings, and has a restaurant in the basement. Their food is delicious and homey and comforting. The first time I tried these rolls was at a wedding luncheon for a good friend, and I loved every last bite! They are incredibly soft and buttery and flavorful, and just all around perfect. Because I couldn’t stop raving about these rolls, my aunt gave me the Lion House cookbook for Christmas the year Geoff and I were married, and I was thrilled to find the roll recipe inside. Unfortunately, I was so intimidated by the thought of baking with yeast at the time that I never got around to making them for myself… until now!

I was looking through my cookbook collection a few nights ago and decided there was no time like the present to make a batch of these lovelies. The rolls were actually relatively easy to make, and turned out beautifully on the first try. I think the key with any bread is to not over-flour the dough. That’s a mistake I made when I first started baking with yeast, and it led to a lot of disappointing results. Just add a little at a time until the dough is just firm enough to be manageable but still soft and slightly sticky. These rolls are delicious and perfect for any occasion!

Lion House Rolls

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons yeast (I always use active dry yeast)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
5 – 5 1/2 cups flour (I used all purpose, but bread flour would also work)
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for brushing on hot rolls

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the dry milk in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the top, and stir to combine. Let sit 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast is bubbling. Add the sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour, and mix to combine. Add another 2 cups of flour and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and knead until a soft and smooth dough forms. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

After the dough has risen, punch it down. Roll it out into a large rectangle that is 8 inches tall by 18 inches wide. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise to form two rectangles that are 4 inches by 18 inches. Cut each rectangle into nine strips that are 2 inches wide by 4 inches tall. Starting with the short end, roll each strip of dough into a spiral, and place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips. Cover and let rise 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size. During the last 15 minutes of rise time, preheat the oven to 375. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.

from the Lion House Classics cookbook

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