Guyanese Staple… Tennis Rolls

Tennis Roll

Let me start this post by saying, that this was my 3rd attempt to make tennis rolls. The first time, the rolls didn’t taste close to tennis rolls. The second time, it had the flavor but was raw on the inside. Finally, I got it to taste right and cook all the way through. The top did get a bit browner that I wanted it to, but I will adjust this the next go around.

Now for the story… Tennis roll, I will assume started out as a dinner roll. But if you’re Guyanese you know it’s an anytime roll and most often eaten with extra sharp cheddar cheese from New Zealand (Anchor cheddar cheese is the best cheddar cheese hands down). As a kid, I used to go to the local neighborhood shop and buy a tennis roll and cheese for $20 (about US 10 cents). Some like their tennis roll and cheese with Mauby (a local drink made from the bark of a tree). I preferred mine with cream soda. Just the thought of this combination is making me salivate.

Tennis rolls, have a rich citrus and vanilla flavor and is semi sweet. It’s dense but soft. Has a nice crumble but holds its own. Before I could only get tennis rolls when I go to NY and buy it from the Guyanese bakery in Queens or Brooklyn, but now I can make my own, and you can too!

The recipe I am using was taken from guyanaoutpost.com

Well, let’s get to it….

First let's set the yeast.Add 1 tbsp dry active yeast and 1 tbsp brown sugar to 1/4 cup of warm water and let sit for at least 5 minutes until yeast ferments.

First let’s set the yeast.
Combine 1 tbsp dry active yeast, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes until yeast ferments.

Then let’s prepare the wet ingredients…

1. Scald 1/2 cups milk in a small sauce pan.2. Add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.3. Add 2tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract4. Add 1/4 cup butter 5. Add 1 tsp fresh orange rind.6. Let cool, then whisk in 3 eggs.

1. Scald 1 cup milk in a small sauce pan.
2. Add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Add 2 tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract
4. Add 1/4 cup butter
5. Add 1 tsp fresh orange rind.
6. Let cool, then whisk in 3 eggs.

Add the fermented yeast to a stand mixer, then the cooled milk mixture.Sieve 5 cups flour and 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.Then, Add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture.

Add the fermented yeast to a stand mixer, then the cooled milk mixture.
Sieve 5 cups flour and 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
Then, Add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture.

This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.

This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.

After 6 cups of flour (yes, I had to add an additional cup of flour). It has formed a very, very soft, stretchy dough.

After 6 cups of flour (yes, I had to add an additional cup of flour). It has formed a very, very, soft, stretchy dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead into a loose ball.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead into a loose ball.

place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour).

place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour).

when dough has doubled in size, turn onto a floured surface and punch down. Then divide into 18 equal pieces and knead into a small ball/roll. (I measured out 2.5 ounce pieces).

When dough has doubled in size, turn onto a floured surface and punch down. Then divide into 18 equal pieces and knead into a small ball/roll. (I weighed out 2.5 ounce pieces).

Place rolls in a  (or two) greased baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubles in size (about 45 mins)Then brush with egg whites and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Place rolls in a (or two) greased baking pan/s, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubles in size (about 45 mins)
Then brush with egg whites and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

tennis rolls

tennis rolls

Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!

Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!

Tennis rolls (taken directly from guyanaoutpost.com)

Thanks to Jennifer Szala Snyder for this recipe for a Guyanese Classic.

Ingredients

1 pkg. active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water, 110°F
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk beaten
1 egg white
1 tsp grated lemon rind or orange rind
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4½ to 5 cups flour

Preparation

  • Soften the yeast in warm water.
  • Add butter/shortening, sugar, salt, lemon rind, lemon extract and vanilla extract to the scalded milk. Let cool to luke warm.
  • When cool add yeast, eggs and enough flour to make a batter. Beat well.
  • Add more flour, a little at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until satiny.
  • Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double in size.
  • Punch down, shape into rolls and let rise again.
  • Brush with egg white mixed with water and bake at 375°F for 25 to 30 min. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen rolls.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This does not make 3 1/2 dozens. I’ve tried it 3 times and only get 1 1/2 dozens. I think it’s a typo.
2. Patience is key when making this. Make sure you have enough time to let the dough prove twice.
3. The dough has to be soft almost like a thick batter.
4. I always put oil on the top of my dough while it proves the first time, this prevents it from getting crusty.
5. My tennis rolls were a bit browner than I wanted them, so next time I will try baking them at a lower temperature.

Happy Baking!

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16 thoughts on “Guyanese Staple… Tennis Rolls

  1. sistersizzle says:

    Reblogged this on The Sisterhood of the Sizzling Pans and commented:
    …good to know someone somewhere is having luck with this! hopefully soon we will be too!

  2. Holly says:

    This is so cool, never thought about making my own tennis roll (which I love) I only ate tennis when I got it from home and that is twice in 5 years. Haven’t tried the recipe yet but I sure will. Keep up the good work.

  3. Stephon Paul says:

    Omg you rock! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hitman says:

    Will be trying this.Got some guests from Guyana they will be with me for a month and seems like they missing it bad lol

  5. Karen says:

    what flour do you use, is it self raising or strong flour, I love tennis rolls and I live in London, we do not get them over here, my children would be so happy

  6. Karen says:

    Ok so my first try was not so good, now looking at your photos again I realise I may have added too much flour. I am going to try again tomorrow. I also did not let the yeast ferment, as it said on the packet that I did not need to, but I think I will this time.
    Thank you for this recipe, will let you know when I get it right:)

    • Metemgee says:

      The first two times I made it, it was a big FAIL. I added too much flour and made the dough too stiff. You really need to have a super soft dough, that’s the key. Good luck.

      • Karen says:

        Success, my second try, I ended up with a few extra large tennis rolls but they tasted great, my kids were impressed, thank you. I still need to try again though just to get the size right:)

  7. Jasmin says:

    i want to try this this weekend, but a bit scared about the texture. If the dough is super soft how can it be kneaded ?

    • Metemgee says:

      I made this 3 times before I got it right (and posted to the blog). First time, the dough was stiff and bread like, the tennis rolls were like rock buns. Second time it was not so stiff and the tennis rolls were very dense, like bread almost. On the third try, the dough was very soft and slinky (best done in a mixer with a bread hook). I kneaded the dough lightly on a heavily floured surface. Next time I make tennis rolls I’ll do a video. But try kneading it on a surface with lots of flour. Also I highly recommend using a mixer. When I tried doing the entire process by hand the tennis rolls weren’t as great.

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