This blast-from-my-past box of versatile, dependable baking goodness allowed me, as a young girl, to hone my skills with yeast dough and bread. While I have many refined recipes for specialty breads and rolls in my repertoire (which, as a young adult I learned hands-on from my grandmother and mother), that was not always the case. There was a time in my life, as a young pre-teen, ages 9-12 give-or-take, when I expressed a serious interest in experimenting, on my own, with my own creations, to imitate the recipes of my grandmother and mother.
I was a remarkably meticulous child, meaning: If left alone in my mom’s kitchen, I maintained a clean kitchen – downright spotless. Yes, even at that young age, I wasn’t playing games in the kitchen. For those reasons, my mom (encouragingly) kept a box or two of hot roll mix in our pantry – for me and my yeast-bread-baking experiments. It allowed me, unsupervised, to practice the techniques required for making and baking bread loaves and dinner rolls, and filled sweet rolls like honey buns, frosted cinnamon-raisin rolls, and, “her” poppyseed- and nut-rolls.
At some point, mom sent away for a copy of the Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix Baking Book too, which, I still have. Besides containing over 100 recipes, it contained a lot of added information, which “upped my game” substantially. I was on my way.
Sure, I had failures. First I put too much filling in a nut roll, the next time not enough, but, because of the easy-to-follow instructions on the box and the tips in their book, the bready end result was always edible. I learned how dry yeast works, and, got to practice the techniques necessary for working with yeast dough after it rises. I also learned the importance of having a versatile, dependable, basic bread dough recipe. After a while, mom’s investment had paid off.
For novice bakers, this mix is “a catalyst for success”.
The box mix = 15 1/2 oz. flour mixture + 1/2 oz. granulated yeast. After adding 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons butter & 1 egg, it yields 28 oz. dough.
For my copycat boxed mix, to be used in place of, and, as per instructions on boxed mix:
15 1/2-16 ounces unbleached, all purpose flour (about 3 cups)
2 ounces granulated sugar (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 ounces instant nonfat powdered/dry milk (about 1/2 cup)
2 1/4-ounce packets dry yeast granules (do not mix with dry ingredients until ready to bake)
1 cup warm water (to be stirred in when ready to bake)
Note: When it’s time to bake, you’ll need to add 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons salted butter and 1 large egg to the dry mix and yeast (as per box’s directions/see Cook’s Note below). When kneading and/or rolling dough, you’ll need about 1/2-3/4 cup additional bench flour too. To make their glazed cinnamon rolls as per the box, you’ll need a few other additions as well. As always, always follow the directions of the recipe you’re making.
In a 1-gallon ziplock bag mix all ingredients, except the yeast. Seal. Can be stored in pantry 3-4 months or in freezer 6-8 months.
~Step 1. Place all of the dry mix in a large bowl. Add the yeast. Using a spoon, stir the yeast into the flour mixture and fashion a well in the center of the bowl. In a 1-cup measuring container, heat 1 cup of water in the microwave. Add butter to hot water and stir until butter melts.
~Step 2. Pour water mixture into well of flour. Using a fork, beat the egg in the measuring container, then add the egg to the well too. Using the spoon, stir until a soft dough forms.
~Step 3. Spread some bench flour on a large wooden pastry board. Turn dough out onto board and knead until a smooth-surfaced ball of dough forms, adding a bit of extra flour, if necessary to reduce stickiness, about 5-6 minutes. Cover the ball of dough with the bowl and rest, 5-6 minutes. You will have 28 ounces of really-easy-to-work-with dough. Amongst other things, this is enough to make 12 dinner rolls, or 12 cinnamon rolls, or 2 nut or poppyseed-type rolls.
Use a kitchen scale to divide dough into 2-12 portions:
Sub my mix & use as directed in recipes on box…
… like Pillsbury’s glazed cinnamon roll recipe:
Or, use as directed in your own family recipes:
Nut & poppyseed rolls are two of my favorites:
About Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix & My Copycat Recipe: Recipe yields 20 ounces dry, hot roll mix/28 ounces dough (after the addition of the wet ingredients).
Special Equipment List: kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons; ziplock bag; tablespoon; fork; large wooden pastry board
Cook’s Note: Here is a photo of the instructions, from the back of the box, for their dinner rolls. Their cinnamon roll and pizza crust recipes are on the box too. Because of that, I recommend purchasing and using a box of the hot roll mix, at least once. First, you will get “a feel” for how this mix works. Second, after clipping the box apart, you get a copy of all of the instructions that appear on the box for future reference. Have fun!
“We are all in this food world together.” ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie’s Kitchen/Copyright 2019)