Since I was seven years old, I've made lots of rolls in my time and thanks to my mother's encouragement, I have no fear of trying anything new. However, I do listen to your comments about working with yeast and tried to come up with an easy, but very impressive recipe to WOW your family with on these special occasions. I got this idea from a recipe that appeared in the New York Times years ago, for an easy to make bread that takes no kneading and is baked in an enamel/cast iron casserole (or Dutch Oven) pan. I tweaked it a bit and I'm quite pleased to give you all a recipe to make a stunning roll that is crispy crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside!
4 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 T olive oil
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
Add the olive oil to the water and pour it over the dry ingredients. Mix with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together. (It will be soft and sticky).
Cover the bowl tightly with a piece of plastic wrap that you have sprayed one side with a baking spray and let it set for 4 hours.
At the end of 4 hours, the dough will looks puffy and have risen almost to the top.
Generously flour a bread board and scrape the dough out onto it, adding more flour as needed. Divide the dough into 7 pieces and with floured hands, shape into a roll and place in a 6 quart Dutch Oven that you have brushed with olive oil.
Cover the Dutch Oven with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes more. (I even put the top on to hold the plastic wrap tightly.)
Preheat oven to 425F-degrees. After 30 minutes, remove the plastic wrap, but place the top of the pan on and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake another 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place a cooling rack on top. Use the handles to flip out the rolls, turning them right-side-up to cool completely. Dust the tops with some additional flour.
Because the rolls are crunchy, you will need to take a knife to cut them apart, but oh my, do they look great and so easy to make.
Now, I need to get to the rest of the meal. Happy 4th of July everyone, Enjoy!