Cast iron adds an extra level of scrumptiousness to any recipe, but these rolls are a TKO in my book. They take a little time to prepare (they are a yeast bread) but the recipe is simple and straightforward. At the risk of sounding cliche, I do hereby proclaim that every time serve these, I get asked for the recipe.
Here’s what you need for about 12 rolls:
- 2-1/2 – 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 envelopes Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise yeast
- 3 TBSP sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 c water
- 2 TBSP Mazola corn oil
- 4 TBSP butter, divided
- Mix 1 cup of the flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl
- Heat water, oil, and 2 TBSP of the butter until very warm (120 – 130 F)
- Add to the flour mixture
- Beat two minutes at a medium speed with an electric mixer, scraping sides occasionally
- Add 1/2 cup of flour
- Beat 2 minutes at high speed
- Stir in enough remaining flour to create a soft dough
- Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic
- Cover and let rise until doubled in size
OK, the hard part is over! If you’re new to proofing dough, there’s nothing to it. It works best when the dough is left in a warm area. I usually just leave my dough in the pan and set it near the stove while the oven is heating. DO NOT SET IN THE OVEN OR ON THE STOVE. But near it. Gentle heat. Nothing to it. You should end up with something that looks like
Now, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to grease your cast-iron skillet. For this batch, I used generic shortening from the store. I actually prefer to use lard most of the time, but in either case you really want a fat that is thick and solid at room temperature. SLATHER that stuff on. Not too much, but be generous. It will also help condition (season) your pan.
So now you have a greased skillet and some proofed dough. Let’s finish this!
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. You can adjust the size and number if you like.
Place each of the 12 rolls into the greased skillet (a 10″ or 12″ skillet will work great).
Cover the skillet and let rise for a second time, about 30 – 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Melt some butter and brush over the rolls.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Serve warm.
I recommend serving with warm herbed butter of your choice.
Recipe adapted from “Cast Iron Cooking” magazine, published in 2016.