Judith Fertig is a talented and genuine writer and cookbook author.  Her recent publication Heartland: The Cookbook is just chock-full of wonderful recipes from farms and other locations around my favorite area- the Midwest.  Here is her versatile recipe for rolls and more.  Makes about 16 huge rolls, or check out her cookbook for other recipes using this delicious, sweet dough.  We feature these rolls using our very own honey at every Hoot Owl Hill event.


6 1/2 cups bread flour

2 Tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast

1 1/2 Tablespoons fine kosher salt

1 cup clover or other amber honey

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 large eggs

warm water

Measure out the flour into a 16-cup mixing bowl  Add the yeast and salt and stir together with a big whisk.  Mix the honey, oil and eggs together in a 4-cup measuring cup.  Add enough warm water to reach the 4-cup mark and stir together. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and stir about 40 strokes to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp about 2 hours.  Use that day or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To form the rolls, divide the dough in half with a serrated knife and dough scraper.  Working with the dough as little as possible and adding flour as necessary, for the dough into a 16-inch long cylinder.  Cut the cylinder into 8 2-inch pieces.  Cut each piece in half and coax into a round ball shape.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Place rolls about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets (I like to use parchment paper for easy cleanup).  Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed or a clean kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Brush the tops of each roll with an egg wash.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and centers are 190 degrees.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.