little younger brother got married this past weekend. For the rehearsal dinner my parents fixed barbecue, with sides of beans, baked potatoes, and rolls, with homemade cobblers and homemade ice cream for dessert. It was good. For the record, I would like to state that my favorite thing about Texas is barbecue (beef, not pork).
I helped by making half of the rolls, a double batch of my favorite dinner roll recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
I did them all the morning of the rehearsal dinner, so that they would be as fresh as possible without me having to actually bake them at the dinner. It went very smoothly, because I incorporated things I’ve learned about making large batches of rolls in the past.
I weighed the dough balls as I shaped them to be sure that they were all more or less the same size, and more importantly, to make sure that I would get the required number of rolls and not run short of dough. They were all in the vicinity of 1 – 1.25 oz. each. I usually don’t weigh out my rolls, it’s just too fiddly for me.
I didn’t try to fit all the rolls in the oven at once. It doesn’t work to have some on the top and some on the bottom rack. The ones on the bottom get burned on the bottom. I didn’t try to cram them all into two large cookie sheets, because the air doesn’t circulate, and again, the bottoms burn.
Since I didn’t make two separate batches of rolls, because it’s easier to knead just once, especially with an electric mixer, both rolls were rising at the same time and I needed some way to slow one batch down so it wouldn’t overproof while the first batch was baking.
I could have put one batch in the fridge to retard the rise, but I was too lazy to clean out my fridge (this is also the reason I didn’t mix and shape them the night before and just bake them in the morning). Instead I let one batch rise at room temperature and the other in a warm oven.
The difference in time was just about right, although I did get a bit worried toward the end of the baking time for the first batch.
I’m glad I went with a tried-and-true recipe, because cooking for a big occasion like this is nerve-wracking enough without factoring in the possibility of something new not working out.
Overall it was a success, judging from the compliments people gave me, and the rate at which the rolls disappeared. Although next time I do rolls for a group, I’m going to only calculate 1.5 rolls per person, because we always seem to decide we need 2 per person to be safe, and we have WAY too many left over.