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. 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 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.
This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.
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 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.
Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!
- 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
- 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 3½ dozen rolls.
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.