Vintage Recipe – Soft and Chewy 4-H Dinner Rolls

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This dinner roll recipe is over 50 years old and is absolutely my favorite recipe for white dinner roll or bun (for you northerners).

If you’re looking for an oatmeal dinner roll recipe, this is the one I make every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and special occasions.

But back to these rolls…the texture is soft and chewy, and the flavor is perfect!  These are amazing for sliders or just to go along as a side with a meal.

This recipe has been baked by my family for many, many years.  Rumor has it my aunt got this recipe while in 4-H back in the 1960s.  The recipe that has been passed around my family did not have many directions at all.  If you click to view the recipe below, you’ll see the original recipe and scant instructions.

Today, I included my slightly updated version with more detailed instructions. Below are a few notes:

Yeast – The original recipe did not specify whether to use active dry yeast or instant yeast, but we can surmise active dry yeast was the one originally used for the following reasons.

  1. Instant yeast came out in the 70s.
  2. The instructions state to dissolve the yeast in water, which is necessary for active dry yeast.

Flour – Regarding the flour, I suppose you could try subbing some whole wheat flour or bread flour in for the unbleached white flour.  We prefer the unbleached white flour.

Mixer – If you have a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, you don’t have to knead by hand.  Or go for it by hand a get a mini-workout.

This is an enriched bread/roll recipe, which means it is a heavy dough and contains butter/lard, eggs, and/or sugar.  This results in a wetter dough. Below is a view of the dough before adding all the flour.

Once you’ve added the necessary flour and kneaded your bread dough, you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let it rise.

After your first rise, your dough should look like this…

Since it is heavier, it requires more time for rising (I generally allow double time).  If you rush it and don’t let these rolls rise enough, they will not be as airy or chewy.

Trust me, though, these rolls are worth the wait.

One last note – the original recipe did not call for an egg wash.  I prefer the shiny look and have included it on my instructions.  You can omit and they are just as delicious.


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