Posted: December 4, 2009
4

I was recently given the opportunity to try out the new Lion House roll mixes that just hit stores last month. I was really excited as, first and foremost, Lion House rolls are incredible. Second, I’ve been looking for a tried-and-true roll recipe and hadn’t found one yet, so the thought hit me that this could be it.
Lion House Rolls are discovered by millions of visitors to Temple Square each year. Over 10,000 rolls are sold each day at Lion House Pantries across Utah.
Lion House Mixes are now available on store shelves at Associated Foods stores, Deseret Book, The Lion House Pantry and Nauvoo Cafe in downtown Salt Lake City.
When I first received the box and read the instructions, I was a bit skeptical. Even though it’s a roll mix, you still add many of the ingredients yourself- the yeast, an egg, water and the butter. I began to wonder if the rolls turned out much different if you simply made the Lion House Roll recipe yourself. So, you know me, I decided to make the from-scratch recipe as well. {Recipe posted with permission from Lion House.}
Lion House Dinner Rolls
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (instant or non-instant)
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, shortening, or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour

Method:

In large bowl or electric mixer, combine water and milk powder; stir until milk dissolves. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 2 cups flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand). Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer. Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff (It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour).

The picture above shows dough with half the amount of required flour and then the entire amount on the right. The dough, in my opinion, never looks manageable, but I resisted the urge to add more flour. Softer dough yields softer rolls! After I scraped it out of the bowl, I kneaded it a few more times on a floured surface and at that point I could quickly form it into a ball and put it in the greased bowl to rise.Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour about one tablespoon of vegetable oil all around sides of bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so it is covered with oil. (This helps prevent dough from drying out).

Cover with plastic and allow to rise in warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes. {I keep my house too cool, so instead, I turn my oven on 350 degrees for about 2 minutes, then turn it off. I do this right when I’m starting to put the ingredients together, so by the time I put the rolls in the oven to rise, it’s just slightly warm.}

Scrape dough out onto floured board. Turn dough over so it is floured on both sides; gently flatten to about 1 inch thick. With rolling pin, roll out to a rectangle about 18 inches long, 8 inches wide, and ¼ inch thick. Brush with melted butter. With pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut dough in half to make two strips about 4 inches wide. Make cuts through strips of dough every 2 inches, making about 18 pieces of dough.Starting with short end, roll up one piece of dough, with butter on the inside. Place roll on parchment-lined pan with other short end down on the paper. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Be sure all rolls face the same direction on baking pan.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until light to medium golden brown. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter. Serve with Honey Butter. Makes 1 to 1 ½ dozen rolls.

Helpful Tips for Making Rolls

  • Always add flour gradually and keep dough as soft as you can handle. A soft dough will produce a lighter roll.
  • It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour called for in the recipe—add only enough flour to make dough manageable.
  • Brush top of rolls with butter when first taken from oven.
  • How to consistently make attractive, good-tasting rolls? Practice! Practice! Practice!

You can also go here to see Brenda Hopkin, the head chef at Lion House, on KSL’s Studio 5 showing us her skills in shaping these rolls!

After making both the Lion House roll mix and the from-scratch recipe, I can’t say I have a clear favorite. I love them both! There were a couple differences I would like to point out:

  • Even though I added dough enhancer, the mix rolls were slightly lighter and fluffier. They also tasted a bit different
  • Again, not sure what exactly is in their dough conditioner, but the mix rolls rose faster. Mine took a good 1.5 hours, where as the mix rolls rose to twice the size in half that amount of time.

Overall, I can see the benefit in having the roll mix. I see it more as a “special occasion” type of product, as opposed to something I’ll always keep on hand. I wish the product was slightly less expensive; I saw them on sale at Dick’s Market for $2.50 per box. Even that is a bit pricey in my opinion, especially since we still have to add several main ingredients. However, if you’re hosting a nice dinner and want to serve freshly baked rolls in less time, these are a fantastic option.

Thanks to Utah Deal Diva for this review of awesome Lion House Rolls which I love!

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