These are derived from a recipe designed to imitate those wonderful, soft, buttery rolls you could get at Grandy’s or Luby’s down south. Doubled, it will fill a 11×13 casserole with delicious bready goodness.
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 egg
- 483 grams spelt flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
Combine all ingredients in order. Mix and knead until just combined, when the dough forms dough and stops sticking to the bowl. Do not knead any further. With a stand-mixer and a dough-hook attachment (which really works better than using your hands for spelt), the dough will still stick a bit to the bottom of the mixing bowl, but not to the sides. This is a soft dough, so don’t panic and add more flour.
Use a spatula to scrape the dough into a ball, and pour or spray some oil to coat the bowl and the dough. Cover the bowl, and place in a warm place to rise. I like to use the oven, especially in winter. I turn the oven to 200 F when I start mixing, and turn it off before putting in the dough. This gets me a good first rise in just about an hour. The dough needs to rise until it doubles in size and looks soft and foamy.
Once the dough has risen, “punch it down” gently by scraping the sides of your bowl and pushing the dough back into a ball. Butter or oil a baking dish, and flour your hands (with spelt flour, of course!). Grab a handful of dough off the top and roll it into a ball between your palms. You want a ball of dough about the size of a golf ball. Place it in the baking dish, flour your hands again, and repeat. Place the balls into the pan so they are just touching each other.
Once all the dough has been shaped, brush or spray some more oil on top, cover, and set to rise again, this time for about 45 minutes. After this second rise, your rolls should be peeking over the top of your baking dish, all smooshed together and already looking yummy. Set your oven to 350 F, and melt some butter. Brush the butter very, very gently over the tops of your rolls, being careful not to jiggle them too much so you don’t pop the fluffy gas bubbles trapped within. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes. If you are using a larger baking dish with a doubled recipe, check the center, as it can take a bit longer for the dough in the middle to cook. When done, you should be able to pull apart the rolls in the center and see cooked bread all the way down.
If you want, brush your rolls again with some melted butter, or honey butter, and watch them magically disappear down the throats of anybody within smelling distance!