Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Make Jodi's Rolls

For a long time, I struggled with making rolls that turned out every time.  I tried many recipes and found them inconsistent.  Once I tried Jodi's rolls, I knew that the search was over.  Whenever I make these for others, they always want the recipe.  If you have never made bread, it is hard.  I think you need to watch it being made (especially if you don't have a machine to do any of the work for you).  Since I don't have a video recorder, here is the best I could do:

Hot water, yeast (I keep mine in a jelly jar in the fridge), salt, powdered milk, oil, eggs, sugar and flour.

First, pour your hot water (2 1/2 cups) into a large bowl.  I have one of those monster size stainless bowls, but made this recipe in a regular, large bowl lots of times before I got it.  The reason this is so handy is because you can make large batches and do all the kneading in the bowl.  The water needs to be hot from the tap.  Cooler than your hot chocolate (you should be able to hold your finger in it without it hurting), but still hot.  The cold metal of the bowl will cool it considerably.

Next, add your yeast  (2 Tablespoons)

and the sugar (1/2 cup).  Mix gently.  The yeast needs the sugar to "work" so get them in there together right away.

 After letting the yeast, water and sugar sit for a minute, it starts to foam a bit.  That is how you will know your yeast is good.  Add the salt.  (2 teaspoons)  I am a hand-measurer for salt, but don't do it until you know what a teaspoon of salt looks like in the palm of your hand.

Here should be a picture of powdered milk.  If you use powdered milk (1/2 cup), you don't have to worry about heating the milk because you used hot water.  Also, using powdered milk in your baking is a good way to rotate it in your food storage.  Then add oil (4 Tablespoons).

Eggs; two of 'em.  If you have a friend who has chickens in her backyard, use those.  Look how dark and vitamin packed those yokes are! 

Beat the eggs using one of those tiny wisks.  Make sure it is bent and well-loved.

Add the beaten eggs to your bowl and stir gently.

At this point you have added everything except the flour.  It looks kind of gross and the yeast smell is really strong.  Don't worry.  You are doing it right.

Okay, add your flour.  Start with about five cups and stir until well combined.  Bread is not like muffins or some sweet breads that act weird if your mix it too much. I have also done this recipe with half whole wheat flour.  Once you have it mastered, try mixing it up a little.

Keep stirring.

Once you can't stir any more, begin kneading.  Can I just say that it is really hard to knead and take a picture?  Really.

Kind of fuzzy.  Sorry.  Knead all that flour into your dough.

Add more flour if it is still sticky.  Make sure you have at least one small hand helping at all times.

Knead until all flour is combined.

Here is the tricky part.  Without touching the dough yourselves, how do you know when you've reached the right texture?  Here are a couple of photos that might help.  The dough is slightly sticky, but should fall off your fingers.

Here's another.  Stretchy, not stiff.

Now shape it into a ball, give it a good spank. (I don't know why, but my grandma always did that so I do.  It feels good.)  Let it rise for about an hour.

Once it has doubled in size, punch it down to let out the air.  Your fist will be a little deeper because this had deflated by the time I figured out how to take a picture.

Here is a little trick I discovered.  One of the things that makes bread tough is too much flour.  One of the ways to avoid extra flour is to spray your surface with oil, instead of rolling it out in flour.

So, spray your counter.

Divide your dough in two balls and begin rolling one of them out.  I don't know why my hand looks like that.  Maybe because I can't roll dough with one hand--especially my left hand.  My hands are totally co-dependent like that.

Make yourself a perfect circle as illustrated below.

Using your pizza slicer, cut the triangles.

Please make sure that, not unlike your perfect circle, your triangles are exactly even.  No exceptions.

Now, roll them up.

To make crescent rolls.  Ha, ha, ha.  I'm too hilarious.

Put your identically sized crescents on a greased cookie sheet.  (Jodi, by the way, actually does make perfectly identical crescents.  She would be so ashamed of my adulterated versions.)  Let rise for about an hour.  If you don't have an hour, let them rise as long as you can.  If you won't be able to bake them after an hour, spray plastic wrap with oil an cover the rolls.  Put the in the fridge until you are ready to bake.  I do this for church a lot--get them all ready before I leave then stick them in the fridge until I get home.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude.

Pull them out when they are golden brown.

Of course you can just eat these plain.  You can eat the whole pan within twenty minutes of their leaving the oven.  Tonight, however, I am slicing them in half and filling them with a chicken salad for dinner.  I have also put a hot dog in them for pig-in-a-blanket or made them into different shapes.  There are endless possibilities.  Enjoy!  

Jodi's Rolls
2 1/2 c hot water
2 T yeast
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c powdered milk
2 t salt
4 T oil
2 room temperature, beaten eggs
7 c flour + or -

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.


  1. <3 you. Your hands look like Moms.

  2. I laughed so hard at the egg yolk comment. You're my favorite!!! Glad to have this recipe again. Thanks for all your hard work in getting it up on your blog. :)

  3. Ok, so I am stalker! I love reading your blog! Great recipe and commentary...

  4. These are my absolute favorite! I searched as well for "the" recipe and haven't looked since until Jodi! I use only 1 T oil and don't notice any difference. I love Jodi's trick of spraying them with pam afterwards to preserve their beauty! Great job, they look fabulous!