Molasses Oatmeal Rolls II

There are four attempts and three recipes to date in my quest to recreate the “dark rolls” from Jim’s childhood. The following recipe, tweaked from several versions of others, is my favorite so far, but Jim said the first Molasses Oatmeal Rolls post tasted more authentic but too heavy. One advantage of this version is the absence of kneading. Note the double rise and be sure to allow enough time if preparing for an occasion.

Look for a posting of Molasses Oatmeal Rolls III, maybe IV, and V… until I finally get it right.

Servings: 12 rolls

2 tsp. dry yeast
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, softened and divided
1 cup milk
1 egg

1-1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup warm water, 110-115 degrees-F
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 to 4 cups bread flour, divided
2 tsp. salt

Soak oats
Soak the oats in the boiling water for at least 30 minutes in a large mixing bowl.

Proof yeast
While the oats are soaking, place 1/3 cup of warm water in a shallow bowl and add the sugar, stir to dissolve. Add the yeast to the sugar water and stir. Let stand for at least five minutes. Yeast should foam, indicating the yeast is alive.

Scald milk
Bring milk to boil in a small saucepan and heat until scaled. Remove from heat.

Make dough
Add molasses, 6 Tbsp. butter, milk, and salt to the soaked oats, stir until well combined. Add the proofed yeast and remaining warm water. Add the egg and combine. Slowly add the flour and mix until the dough forms. Continue to add flour until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Rise dough
Place dough in greased bowl, covered with a plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Allow to rise for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. The dough will rise only slightly.

Prepare rolls
Divide dough in 16 pieces. Shape into balls or roll as desired. Place in a 9-inch spring form pan to create rolls that tear away from each other. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and brush over rolls. Sprinkle with additional oats if desired. Cover with a damp cloth at let rise for an additional two hours away from drafts.

Bake dough
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees-F. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove to cooling racks.

Serve warm or store in plastic bags to maintain freshness.

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