I posted a tennis roll recipe when I first started my blog, click here to see that recipe. It was a slight modification of a recipe I found online. Back then I used Wayne’s outpost and my “What’s cooking in Guyana” cookbook for recipes and tips. Since then my cooking and baking has evolved, through trial and error and just playing around with recipes as well as consulting the bakers in my family. Therefore, I’ve adjusted the tennis roll recipe and simplified it. I shared this new recipe on youtube in April 2018 and promised to update the recipe here and just never got around to doing it. As I am getting back into the swing of steady posting and working on being a more consistent blogger, I wanted to tackle any and all posts that I had sitting in my drafts and this was one of those.
The Best Way to Make the dough:
Over time I’ve found that the best way to make the dough is in your stand mixer if you have one. But if you don’t have a stand mixer you can still make tennis rolls using your hands and a trusty kitchen tool––the whisk. I use a whisk for the beginning part of the dough when doing it by hand. I add the liquids to a bowl, just like I would with my stand mixer and I whisk in the flour, a little bit at a time, until I get a pancake batter like consistency.
I then follow-up with handfuls of flour until I have a nice smooth dough. Next, I turn the dough unto a floured surface and I knead it to a smooth dough ball. It takes some time about 10 good minutes to knead the dough by hand, but it is so worth it.
This dough ball should be smooth but also soft. If the ball is too stiff the tennis rolls will be hard. When I am done kneading the dough into a smooth ball, I place it into a greased bowl, cover it and let it rise.
Making the Tennis Rolls
Once the dough doubles in size you can choose to punch it down, knead it again and leave it for a second rise, or if you are in a hurry (as I always am) you can knead it, cut it into 8 pieces and start working on your tennis rolls.
I usually divide the dough into 8 fairly large tennis rolls. I knead each piece of tennis roll dough into a smooth tight ball. Then I cover it and let it proof for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then I bake them up to golden brown tennis rolls.
Immediately after baking, I remove the tennis rolls from the oven, I brush them with butter and cover them with a kitchen towel to let them cool. Alternatively when they’ve cooled off a bit, I put the tennis rolls in a large ziplock or bread bag, that helps to keep the tennis rolls nice and soft.
The Tennis Roll Youtube video tutorial
The Printable Tennis Rolls Recipe:
- ½ cup of warm water
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
- ¼ cup butter, melted + 1 tablespoon of butter for after you're done baking
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3 to 4 cups of sifted flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
- Egg wash: 1 egg white and 2 tablespoons of water
- Add the warm water to a small bowl, then dissolve the brown sugar in the water
- Next add the dry active yeast and mix together well, then cover and set aside in a cool warm place to allow the yeast to activate
- In another bowl, combine the butter and milk and set aside
- When the yeast has activated and is nice and frothy combine the yeast and the butter and milk mixture. You can do this in your stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl
- Then add the lemon zest, lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix together
- Start to make the dough by adding ½ cup of flour to the liquid mixture and using a whisk or the whisk attachment of your mixer mix together to form a smooth pancake like batter
- Continue to add small amounts of flour until the batter becomes too thick to whisk
- If using your stand mixer switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour
- Then mix on low speed until a smooth dough forms
- If mixing with your hands continue to add the flour ½ a cup at a time until all of the flour is mixed in to form a smooth dough
- Turn the dough unto a floured surface and knead it into a smooth tight ball
- Place the dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let proof until it doubles in size
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and knead the dough again. At this point you can allow the dough to proof again or you can cut the dough into 8 pieces and begin to work on your tennis rolls
- Knead each piece of tennis roll dough into tight smooth balls
- Place the dough balls on a greased baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel
- Set dough balls aside and let them proof for 30 to 45 minutes until they doubles in size
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F
- Finally, make an egg wash using an egg white and 2 tablespoons of water
- Brush the egg wash over the top of the tennis rolls
- Bake tennis rolls for 25 minutes
- Remove the tennis rolls from the oven and brush with butter then cover with a kitchen towel and let cool
- After the tennis rolls cool down a bit, place them in a large ziplock or bread back to help keep the tennis roll from becoming stiff
- Enjoy with a nice slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese