1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, that is, for about 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and two cups of flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 a cup at a time until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about one hour.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and form into round balls.
Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least two inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise for about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown in the preheated oven.
The purpose of kneading is to develop gluten.
Gluten is a protein that is formed when two other proteins – glutenin and gliadin – combine with water and then get agitated – stirred, mixed or kneaded.
But how do you know when enough gluten has formed to let your bread rise nice and high and to get a lovely chew? It’s called the windowpane test.
After kneading for several minutes, tear off a small piece of dough; if it stretches a lot before pulling away, that is a good indicator of good gluten formation.
Equipment safety lies at the heart of all baking success.
Your oven should work properly and heated to the correct temperature.
It also needs to stay clean. Spills on the bottom of the oven can catch fire, so check for them and clean them up before and after you bake. In addition to a clean oven, you need a clean refrigerator.
A dirty refrigerator can contaminate eggs, milk, butter and other cold items with mold and bacteria.
Home food safety recommends washing down all inside and outside surfaces with hot, soapy water on a regular basis. Throw away old food, clean up any spills right away and do a full cleaning monthly.