Dinner roll recipe teaches basics of bread baking

With the holidays fast approaching, I am thinking of ways my kids can contribute to the table.

We will be traveling east for Thanksgiving, to join my family in a very traditional affair. Perhaps we will offer to make some dinner rolls, because we have a new recipe that is really easy and fun to make.

They can even be frozen, and the recipe makes enough for a small army enough to feed our Thanksgiving crowd this year, anyway.

I made the first batch of these rolls and confirmed that yes, they are a perfect starter bread for a young cook. I asked Emma, 11, to make a batch to go with dinner one night.

I showed her how to proof yeast and what to look for in a properly kneaded dough.

Molly, 9, looked on with envy. I had to promise her some alone time in the kitchen, too.

Emma measured, mixed and kneaded our dinner roll dough. After explaining the whys of simple bread baking, I think she could pull off any easy dough recipe thrown at her. I am a proud chef mother.

After a rest and time to grow, the dough was ready to form into balls. Emma rolled half the dough into a long rope, cut it into small pieces then folded the dough into itself to make balls. She arranged them in a greased baking dish, side by side.

The recipe makes 30 rolls, more than we can eat in a reasonable amount of time, so I froze one pan to use at a later time. The rolls need to rise again for about an hour.

Emma watched them attentively, anxious for the final stage the baking. The time finally came, and after about 20 minutes in the oven, they were done.

I convinced her to let them cool for a few minutes before rewarding herself with one of these deliciously soft, warm rolls, smeared with butter.

If you have a budding baker, help him or her with this recipe for dinner rolls. It is easy to follow and makes a large batch, perfect for the upcoming holidays.

mpoitras@discoveryspeed.com. Margery Reed Poitras is a former professional chef who now cooks for her kids and occasionally for the more mature palate.

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