Simple Featherlight Dinner Rolls

Oma's Featherlights

These rolls are a tradition at our house for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My mom got the recipe thirty years ago from her friend, Cora Leavitt.  They were originally called "Grandma's Featherlights" but in our family, my mom is "Oma" so that's what we call them.

They are truly simple to make.  You mix them up the night before (no kneading required!) and let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Combine and let stand for 20 minutes:
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 teaspoons instant yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar

Meanwhile, scald 1 cup milk, cool and add in
1/3 cup oil (I use cold butter instead as this helps cool the milk)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, well beaten

Add the yeast mixture to the cooled milk mixture and stir to combine.  Mix in 4 1/2 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour.  (You can do this in a big mixer or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.  You do not have to knead it, just be sure all of the flour in incorporated into the liquid.  It will be sticky.)  Place in a large greased or oiled bowl with enough room to rise.  Cover tightly and refrigerator overnight.

Two hours before you plan to bake the rolls, take the dough out of the refrigerator and turn onto a lightly floured board or counter.  Divide into 24 equal pieces (about the size of an egg) and shape into balls, pinching the seam tightly.  (I  scale them at 2 ounces each.)  Place into greased baking pans with a bit of space in between for rising.  Spray lightly with oil, cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper and let rise at room temperature 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is.  I like to time it so they are ready to go in the oven after I take the turkey out, while I make the gravy.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 8 to 10 minutes,  until golden on top and not doughy in the center.  Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter.

Makes 24 large rolls.

Note:  I always have to double the recipe for my family.  I like to shape all the rolls at once and then put one pan of them (lightly sprayed with oil and covered tightly) back in the frig.  That way I can bake them the next day so they'll be fresh to go with our leftovers.

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