Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Grandma Benson's Dinner Rolls ($0.02 each)



$0.02 per roll          87% savings          save $75.36 yearly


When I was younger, the majority of my Thanksgiving holidays were spent in the home of my Grandma Benson.

Grandma still lives in a beautiful home on the Puget Sound, 15 miles outside of Seattle, Washington... and I grew up in an old re-modeled school house (truth) in Po-dunktonhillville, Idaho, 650 miles away.

Each year, when November rolled around and school let out for Thanksgiving vacation, we packed our suitcases into the luggage rack on top of our van, and all NINE of us would try to find a comfortable position in our seats as we prepared for the 13-hour drive to Grandma's house.  The vehicle was loaded not only with kids, but crackers, drinks, snacks, a cooler with sandwich fixings, and fruit, blankets, pillows, books, paper, crayons, pencils, toys, games, CD players with headphones, and discarded shoes on the floor...

In those conditions, it's truly a miracle that we made it safely to Grandma's house (without killing each other) every year!

My Grandma alway made a huge deal out of Thanksgiving dinner: Fine china and silver, amazing turkey, potatoes, stuffing, salads, TOO many pies, and of course, baskets and baskets of her amazing dinner rolls. Her rolls were hot items at the mile-long table that seated our family, and all my aunts, uncles and cousins. I could never stop at just one roll.

Heaven... on a plate. Especially with homemade strawberry jam.

They're made with simple ingredients, taste AMAZING, and will save you a bundle in comparison to store-bought rolls.  I was soooo happy when I got my hands on Grandma's recipe... and so was the rest of my family.


Grandma Benson's Dinner Rolls 

*Makes 40 large rolls

INGREDIENTS
3 cups luke-warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup oil
1 Tablespoon salt
6 - 7 cups flour

DIRECTIONS
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. Let sit 10 minutes. Add the oil. Add the dry ingredients, starting with 6 cups of flour. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are incorporated, and dough is smooth, elastic, very slightly sticky, and pulls away from the bowl. You may add a little more flour at a time until dough reaches the desired consistency. 

Cover bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (an hour or more depending on how warm your kitchen is.) You may speed up this process by placing the covered bowl inside the oven with the oven light on, and another bowl of warm water sitting on the lower rack.

Punch the dough down, divide and shape into golfball-sized balls, and place in a greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 jelly roll pan in rows of 5 x 8. Cover again, and let rise till doubled. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Serve warm. Store in an air-tight bag. Baked rolls AND roll dough freeze well. 

~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown:
1 gallon vegetable oil - $6.78 = 256 T = $0.026/T = $0.139
25 lb all-purpose flour - $6.78 = 94.5 C = $0.071/C = $0.426
10 lb sugar - $5.58 = 378 T = $0.015/T = $0.060
26 oz. salt - $0.42 = 122.75 tsp. = $0.003/tsp = $0.009
2 lb yeast- $4.68 = 48 T = $0.098/T = $0.147
Total Recipe Cost:  $0.78
Cost Per Roll:  $0.02
The Contender:
Rhodes White Dinner Rolls - frozen (12 ct.) = $1.99
Cost Per Roll:  $0.17
Savings: 87%

"Over a year" scenario:
Make Grandma Benson's Dinner Rolls 15 times:  $11.70
Buy equivalent Rhodes White Dinner Rolls - frozen:  $87.06

*Money Saved: $75.36


47 comments:

  1. How do you freeze the dough? At the stage just before baking?

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    1. First of all, thanks for stopping by this blog!
      To answer your question, you can freeze it right after mixing it up, or after you've let it raise and punched it down. I usually freeze it after I've let it raise and punched it down. On the day I know I want to bake, I either set the bagged frozen dough out on a plate on the counter the night before to be ready to bake in the morning, or I take it out in the morning and bake at night. The dough should be brought to room temp. I've even defrosted it in the microwave for a couple minutes to speed up the process, and I've had no problems. Good luck!! Let me know how it goes for you!

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  2. Welcome to Blogging! I saw this recipe on Pinterest and re-pinned it, and came by to check out the recipe. What a delightful story goes along with it! I loved hearing how you'd drive to your Grandmother's. I remember holidays like that too -- with aunts, uncles and cousins getting together. Too bad it's not like that anymore. Sadly, in my family anyway... Thanks for the recipe and good luck and have fun with your blog! I haven't done a post myself in ages!
    Best,
    Gloria

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    1. Wow, thanks for taking time to post such a kind comment. Holidays with family truly are the best! I'm glad we share similar fond memories. Good luck with the rolls! I'd love to hear how they turn out for you.

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    2. This is an old, old recipe. My mother made these when I was a little girl and she is 92 now. She learned the recipe from her mother who got it from her step sister who raised her after grandmother's mother died when she was 4 yrs old. It was made by farmer's wives to feed the harvest crews at dinner (lunch). My mother used the base recipe for making loaves of bread and for cinnamon rolls and various other rolls. One I especially liked was when she rolled the dough out in a big rectangle {instead of shaping into balls for rolls) put butter on the dough, sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and raisins, rolled it up, cut the roll about half way through every few inches, put it in a cake pan, let it rise again and baked like rolls. It was so good during the winter when the snow was knee deep and we were off school.

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  3. I need to try these. Have a super good/easy recipe that my family loves but I'm always willing to try something new! Love you blog - saw the whitebread on Pinterest and stopped to take what has become a LONG visit!

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  4. Made these yesterday. Turned out great. I ended up with 2 9x13 pans full. They were a good size. I could have made them a bit larger but still would have had to use 2 pans.

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    1. Thanks for taking time to stop by! I'm so glad they turned out well for you!

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  5. I made these today. They were good, but I ended up having to use around 9 cups of flour to get the right consistency. Has anyone else had this trouble? I'm new to this baking bread or roll thing so it could just be me. They did taste good. Thanks! Dawn

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    1. I'm glad they turned out for you in the end, but so sorry that it took 9 cups of flour... I can't think why. There've been days when I've use up to 7 1/2 cups tops, but it's usually between 6 and 7. I should have been more specific in the ingredient list instead of just saying in the instructions to add more flour slowly till you get the right consistency, so I'm changing that right now. If you try them again, I'd be curious to know how it goes. Thanks for your comment!

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    2. I have had to use closer to 8-9 cups of flour as well, but don't mind as they still taste great and I have that many more rolls. These taste just my Grandma's rolls too :)

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    3. I have to use 8-9 cups of flour as well. (both times I made it)

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  6. Made these last night. Huge hit with my family! I will definitely make them again! I made a dozen and froze the rest of the dough to use another night. Thanks for the great recipe!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad your family enjoyed them!

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  7. How long does it normally take for the individual rolls to double in size before baking them? Thanks for the recipe! Its possibly the easiest one i've ever found.

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    1. It should take about 40 minutes on your counter top, but honestly it depends. A warm kitchen helps them rise faster than a cool kitchen. Good luck!

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  8. I couldn't help but notice in your recipes that you use yeast by the tablespoon. How does that translate to Fleischman's packets? Or does it? Should I not use those? I have made killer dinner rolls and bread for a lot of years but this looks simpler than what I'm used to and I'd like to try your recipes. Thank You!

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    Replies
    1. You can definitely use the packets. There is 2 1/4 tsp yeast per three-packet, so I would use two of those, then store the extra yeast in a ziplock bag in the freezer with the amount left. Good luck! Let me know how they turn out for you. :)

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  9. I've recently adopted my mother's incredible homemade chicken nuggets (battered, not breaded) and I'm making them this weekend for my hubby's birthday. I think your grandma's rolls might just be the perfect thing to add to the menu! Thank you so much for sharing! I can't wait to try them!
    p.s. I don't own a jelly-roll pan, nor do I know what that is... is it necessary or can I use large non-stick cookie sheets? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. You'll love the rolls! A jelly roll pan is just one of those really large cookie sheets that have a 1" raised outer edge. I use it as a cookie sheet. BUT a "real" cookie sheet is flat, and not as big, so I've had to distinguish between the two in my posts. You can use any pan you'd like. I've even used a glass 13x9 in a pinch with a fraction of the recipe. Good luck!

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  10. Do you think I could use my bread machine on the dough cycle?

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    1. I've never used a bread machine, so I couldn't tell you yes or no from personal experience. However, a few articles I read in order to answer your question seem to indicate it would be fine. Here's one of them: http://housewares.about.com/od/breadmakers/g/Bread-Maker-Definition.htm
      If you do use the bread machine on just the dough cycle, I'd love to hear how it works out for you!

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  11. I came across this post while looking at your refried beans recipe. I just have to comment b ecause I had a Grandma Benson too. She didn't live on the Puget Sound, but not so far north outside of Lynden, WA. I lived on the same farm as her and she was always baking something. The funny thing is she made some awesome rolls too. What a coindidence! :)

    Melanie

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  12. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and
    wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

    In any case I'll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
    My web blog : telephone

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  13. My rolls didn't look like yours when they were done. Are you supposed to space them out on the baking sheet or leave them touching? They were also a little dense, should I have let them rise longer? I tried the loaf bread recipe and it turned out great. Thanks so much for these recipes!

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    1. Good questions. :) When I form my rolls, they are not touching initially... but as they rise, they begin to touch, and as they bake, they are pretty well attached to each other, but pull apart from each other easily. I think perhaps if you had let them raise a bit longer they wouldn't have been quite so dense. It can be tricky to know when they've raised enough. My rule of thumb is at least double in size. Then, once they're doubled in size, I pre-heat my oven (allowing them to rise a little longer), and bake. They'll rise a bit more as they bake as well. Hope this helps!

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  14. By chance do you have a recipe for an all purpose baking mix, like a homemade version of Bisquick where it can go from biscuits to pancakes/waffles? I am trying to feed our family of 5 on a microfiber loop sized budget and anything would help! Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi there!

      I know exactly how you feel about the microfiber loop sized budget... (love how you phrased that because it's even smaller than a "shoestring" budget). I actually don't have a mix that goes from biscuits to waffles to pancakes... sometimes I'll use the same batter for pancakes and waffles if I've made a ton of extra... that said, I did a little looking for you, and this recipe looks like a good bet: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/all-purpose-baking-mix-recipe/index.html

      I hope that helps! Good luck!

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  15. Andrea, Thank you for sharing this receipe! I know your Grandma Benson and have always loved these rolls. I remember her making them whenever she had a group over for dinner. It's been 35 years since I've had them but I still tell everyone I know good they are! I am enjoying your blog and will refer back to it often.

    ~JoAnn

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    1. JoAnn~
      Thank you for taking time to say hello! I'm so happy you know my grandma! She is an amazing lady, and I love her so much. I'm thankful for her wonderful example... and her yummy recipes. :) Thank you again for your kind words. Take care! ~Andrea

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  16. I love your blog! I was wondering though where you can buy your flour at such a steal?? I am paying attention to your breakdowns!! With almost 4 teenagers (3 boys) we go through a lot of food and it is quite the job to keep everyone fed well on a budget. :)

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    1. Hi Kimberly,

      Wow! 4 teenagers... that's impressive. :) I've got three little girls. At the time I posted this recipe, I was buying my flour from Walmart (all-purpose 25 lb). Now, the flour at Walmart has jumped up to $9 + . Sam's Club is my cheapest option now with 25 lb bags of all-purpose flour for $7.28. Usually though, I buy and grind my own wheat because it's cheaper and healthier. I know that not everyone has time or means to buy and grind their own wheat, so I generally use all-purpose for this blog and cost-breakdowns. I hope this helps! Good luck!

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  17. Can you use instant yeast?

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    1. Yes. I use instant yeast for all my breads/rolls. I've never used rapid-rise yeast before.

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    2. Im confused. Do you use active dry yeast (the"traditional" kind) or quick rise instant yeast. I have both and don't know which to use for your recipe!

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    3. Instant (traditional) not the rapid rise

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  18. I made half a batch of these today and had for dinner tonight! They were wonderful! They would be really great as slider buns or made larger into hamburger or hot dog buns! Thanks for posting such a great, versatile recipe!

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  19. Made the leftovers into BBQ sliders for hubby's lunch today and breakfast sandwiches this morning (cheese, leftover sausage patties, scrambled egg, garden Roma tomato slices, onion strips, and ketchup)! They work really well as sandwiches!

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  20. Love your site! I tried making these rolls last night and I couldn't get them nice and brown on top without overcooking the bottom, any ideas? Do you bake in a convection oven?

    Also, where did you get your yeast at that price? What package does it come in? I only have a 4oz jar that was the same price. It makes all the recipes more expensive when the yeast costs 8x more.

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  21. Thanks for checking out the site! I bake in a standard oven that comes in a standard kitchen... nothing fancy. :) However, I know from experience (moving 7 times since I've been married for 8.5 years) that even standard ovens can vary slightly in performance. One trick you can use if they tops aren't as brown as you'd like, is to turn the oven on to broil for a minute or two at the very end of baking. The tops will brown right up. You just have to be sure to watch the rolls so you don't end up with burnt tops.

    I buy my yeast from Sam's Club. It comes in a 2-pk. Each bag contains 1 lb. of yeast. I think most people don't do as much baking as I do in my home, so regular grocery stores don't tend to stock "bulk" yeast. Hope that helps!

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  22. Made a half batch tonight. They didn't rise as much as yours (I could have been impatient) but they were fluffy and yummy none the less. Complete hit with hubby and toddler, thank you!!!!

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  23. I'm curious as to why milk wasn't used in your recipe unlike some other rolls recipes?

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    1. I use water, because it's what my grandma used. I know there are tons of roll recipes... some call for milk, some call for eggs... this recipe is about as plain and simple as it gets, but the result is delicious! If you try it out, let me know what you think. :)

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  24. If you are looking for a good price on yeast, try Cash and Carry. They are one of the stores that restaurants use for their supplies. As long as you have cash or credit/debit card, you do not need a business license to purchase from them. You can also get good deals on canned pie filling in number 10 cans. It will freeze well if you only need a portion of the can at a time or buy and split with your friends. Best of all they are open 365 days a year.

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  25. gailedarkwind@charter.netJanuary 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    This Grandma tried Grandma Benson's roll recipe: should have known when it said "Grandma", Awesome!! Over the last 60 years I have probably used 2/3 of the known roll recipes and this one just moved to the front of the list! Thanks.

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  26. This is my go to roll recipe now. I have made them 3 times and they are completely easy! I have tried a ton of other recipes that were just ok. These were great!! My husbands grandma made bread and buns but no one thought to write her recipes down until it was too late and this roll recipe is very close. She used water for hers also and instead of oil she used bacon grease which is what I use for my bread and buns. I usually make bread a few times a week. If I make rolls I do it on Saturday and they last a few days and then I'll make bread once that week. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Chrissy, I'm thrilled that you enjoy the recipe so much! Thanks for letting me know. :)

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