Phyllis's Dinner Rolls

Homemade dinner rolls are perfect for buttering before dinner, dipping in soup or sopping up gravy.

By Kate Sonders

From our feature Teachers in the Classroom and in the Kitchen, a professor of education Phyllis Whitin advises giving children a small piece of dough to call their own and working with them to knead and shape it. From time to time, she gives them a new bit of dough to work and incorporates their earlier masterpiece into the dough that she is working.

Ingredients:
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
5 1/2 cups flour

Directions:
1. Soften the yeast in the lukewarm water. Scald the milk. Pour it into a large bowl over the sugar, salt, and butter. Cool to lukewarm.

2. Add 2 cups flour and mix thoroughly. Add the softened yeast and the eggs and beat well. Add enough additional flour to make dough that is soft but not sticky. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

3. Rinse the bowl and grease it with shortening. Put the dough back in the bowl and turn it so that the greased side is up. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, put in a warm place, and let it rise about 1 hour or until double in bulk.

4. Punch down the dough. Divide into 3 parts on a floured board. Each part makes 1 dozen rolls. Shape and put in greased pans. For clover leaves: Divide into 12 pieces. Break each piece into 3 parts and roll them into balls. Put 3 balls of dough in each cup of a muffin pan. For knots: Divide into 12 pieces. Roll into a "snake" shape about 6 inches long. Tie into a loose knot. Place on a cookie sheet. For crescents: Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges, like a pizza. Roll up each piece, starting at the wide end. Place on a cookie sheet, curving the tips to make a crescent.

5. Cover and let rise about 1 hour, until doubled.

6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 3 dozen

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