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O’Charley’s Dinner Rolls | My Replication!

So I have been experimenting for quite some time with different types of yeast rolls, tweaking the recipe constantly- trying so hard to find a delicious, sweet dinner roll like they serve at O’Charley’s. Whenever I made the best donuts ever, I ended up baking some of the dough. I just had this feeling- and when I did, it turned out to be a delicious bread that was almost exactly like what I was looking for.

Whenever I made these dinner rolls, I cut that recipe in half and altered it- just slightly. What came out were dinner rolls that could have been brought home from O’Charley’s. They were the best ever. No lie. They were better than my first few tries at yeast rolls.


  • 2/3 cup warm whole milk
  • 1/6 cup of sugar
  • .25oz dry active yeast
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 1 minute, and pour it over the active yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir gently to combine and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a separate bowl. Add the butter and beaten egg to a large mixing bowl. Pour the yeast concoction on top of this.
  3. Fit the mixer with dough hooks. Stir together the butter/eggs and the yeast mixture with the hooks.
  4. Mix the flour and salt together.
  5. Add the flour/salt to the wet mixture in 1/2 cup increments.
  6. After adding all of the flour, gather it into a ball and place it into a greased bowl. The dough is going to be wet.
  7. Cover the bowl and set it in a warm, dry place. Allow it to rise for about an hour.
  8. After rising, turn the dough out on a floured surface. Roll it out to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness.
  9. Punch out rounds with a cutter, and place on a parchment paper lined pan.
  10. After cutting out your rolls, cover them and allow to rise about 45 minutes.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes- or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.

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Best Donuts Ever

I found this recipe for donuts on My Baking Addiction and it is very similar to the one that Alton Brown uses on his show- so I decided to give it a try about a week ago. They did take a long time- so you need to make sure you have the time to devote to these babies. It’s not as simple as punching a hole in a biscuit and throwing it in a deep fryer. The trouble was definitely worth it. The recipe ended up making 2 dozen donuts for me, and therefore 2 dozen donut holes. I’m going to be throwing 3 recipes at you- 1 for the donuts, and 2 different glazes. Fun fact! This dough recipe also makes DELICIOUS bread if you bake it and butter it.

Donut Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups whole warm milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • .5oz of active dry yeast
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 1 1/4 stick of butter
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil

Making the Donuts

  1. Warm the milk- make sure it is warm but not hot.
  2. Stir the sugar into the milk until it is dissolved.
  3. Pour the yeast into a bowl. Then pour the milk/sugar on top of the yeast. Stir it gently and set it aside. It will take about 10 minutes to bubble into awesomeness.
  4. Melt the butter in a separate bowl- make sure it’s not too hot. I do this by melting butter on the defrost setting.
  5. Mix the beaten eggs into the butter.
  6. Pour this into a larger bowl suitable for a mixer (or your mixer bowl). Mix it with the mixer- fitted with DOUGH HOOK ATTACHMENTS for a few seconds.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add the yeast mixture to your butter and eggs.
  8. After you’re sure it is well combined, then slowly begin to add the flour in 1/2 cup increments.
  9. After adding the flour, scrape down the bowl and add it again. Continue to mix it until it is all well combined. You can also turn it out onto a floured surface/pastry mat to knead the dough. My dough was pretty gloppy and wet so I just tossed it into the bowl.
  10. When your dough is mixed, transfer it to a bowl that has a little oil in it. Toss the dough in the oil so it doesn’t stick to the bowl.
  11. Cover the bowl and put it into the fridge. The recipe above says let it rise for 8 hours. I let mine rise for four and it was touching the plastic wrap on the bowl, so I went ahead and proceeded with the following steps.
  12. After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface.
  13. Roll the dough out to about 1/3 inch thickness.
  14. Using a round cutter, punch out circles. A 3 inch cutter works well, but if you want smaller or larger donuts- have at it.
  15. After punching out the rounds, use a smaller cutter to punch out the middles.
  16. Place the donuts and holes on a well floured baking sheet. For real- if it isn’t well floured, they’ll stick after rising and when you fry them they’ll look weird from getting all mushed and deflated when you tried to lift them.
  17. Cover the sheets and let the donuts/hole rise for about an hour.
  18. After the donuts have risen, pour some oil into a dutch oven. You’ll want to keep the oil about 350-375 degrees- no hotter than 380.
  19. After the oil is hot, add the donuts one or two at a time. It will take about 30 seconds to 1 minute for each side depending on the oil temperature and how done you want your donuts. A lot of mine were barely brown. After one side is brown, flip them over.
  20. After browning both sides, remove the donuts from the oil (I used tongs) and place them on a paper towel. After a few seconds, flip them over. Drain off as much oil as you can.
  21. Repeat this process for all the donuts and the holes.

Now, as far as glazing is going to be concerned- this is actually easier to do while the donuts are still warm. What I did, is while I waited on my oil to heat up, I prepared my powdered sugar glaze. After I took two donuts out, I’d let them cool for about a minute and glaze them- and while glazing, I’d cook more. Lots of multi-tasking in my kitchen, but it made things simpler. The chocolate glaze I did after they were glazed in the standard powdered sugar and had cooled. I had to make 2 batches of glaze to do 2 dozen donuts. So double the recipe below if you want to glaze all of them the same way.

Powdered Sugar Glaze Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cold milk

Glazing Directions

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk in a large bowl until it is smooth.
  2. Drop a warm donut into the glaze. Turn it over to glaze both sides.
  3. Poke a fork through the hole of the donut and lift it out of the glaze and shake it to drip off excess glaze.
  4. Place the donut on wax or parchment paper to let the glaze set.
  5. For the holes, just drop them in and roll them around.
  6. You can add sprinkles while glaze is still wet.

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chips)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Glaze Directions

  1. Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a sauce pan. Heat until the butter is melted and it is all well combined.
  2. With the heat on low, add the chocolate until it is well melted.
  3. Whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth.
  4. Remove from the heat!
  5. At this point you can glaze the tops or entire donuts. You can do this without using the standard glaze first- but I didn’t. Anyway- dip the donuts into the chocolate glaze and set on paper. Let it set for 30 minutes before serving.

See! This recipe is basically anything but simple. It’s a lot of steps and a lot of trouble- but like I said, the product is the best. They taste better than any donuts I have ever purchased from a store. They’re a great treat. I did mine midday, but I’d like to start the dough at night sometime and wake up and make them. If you want a smaller amount of donuts, cut the recipe in half and it should make about a dozen. These are good the day after-but after more than 2 days, they lose the appeal.
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Failed Yeast Rolls = Garlic Parmesan Bread

So when I made my yeast rolls the other day, the first batch of dough I made I totally forgot to add any sugar and didn’t cut all the steps in half like I should have. Which meant my dough wasn’t very yeast roll appropriate by the time i was finished. So I decided to do something different with it. It morphed from a yeast roll failure into a scrumptious  loaf of garlic parmesan bread. When it was baking it made the house smell great- but then again, I’m a huge fan of garlic and the way that it smells. The picture makes the texture look like cornbread, but it doesn’t feel like cornbread at all when you eat it. But this is the sort of thing that happens when you muck up a recipe- you just turn it into something else if you can. I’ve done that before with my Apple Crisp Cupcake Failure. That being said, this recipe will obviously look similar to my yeast roll recipe!


  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of milk at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • garlic powder
  • grated parmesan cheese (I just used what you find in a plastic jar.)


  1. In a large bowl, combine milk, melted butter, salt, and egg. Beat until well combined.
  2. In another, smaller bowl mix the yeast with the flour
  3. Add flour to the wet mixture 1/4-1/2 cup at a time. Eventually it will get to thick to beat. At this point, turn out the dough onto a floured surface (or pastry mat).
  4. Knead in the last of the flour.
  5. After kneading in the flour, kneed in a generous amount of garlic powder and parmesan cheese. I would guess that I used about a tablespoon of garlic, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. You could easily use more or less. It would probably be good to add some Italian seasoning if you feel ambitious.
  6. Place the dough into a greased bread crock (or loaf pan).
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour or two.
  8. Cook at 350° for 30 minutes- or until the top is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven, allow to cool, remove from crock or pan and slice.

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Yeast Rolls!

Yeast rolls are my favorite type of bread- and generally dad buys those you freeze and thaw and bake. I decided to give it a try, to make some from scratch. This is the third time I’ve tried. The first, they baked too long. The second time I left out an ingredient and ended up turning into a garlic parmesan bread (which was amazingly tasty and will be blogged tomorrow or the day after). This was my third go, and they turned out perfect. Light, fluffy, great. They were all devoured. I wish there were more left.


  • 1/4 cup of butter melted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of room temperature milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups of flour (the less you use the lighter the rolls will be)
  • 1/4 oz of dry yeast (I use the kind that doesn’t have to be dissolved in water.)


  1. In a large bowl, combine milk, melted butter, salt, sugar, and egg. Beat until well combined.
  2. In another, smaller bowl mix the yeast with the flour.
  3. Add flour to the wet mixture 1/4-1/2 cup at a time. Eventually it will get to thick to beat. At this point, turn out the dough onto a floured surface (or pastry mat).
  4. Knead in the rest of the flour. Knead for 5-10 minutes- just make sure the dough is very smooth.
  5. Gather dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl- cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about an hour.
  6. Dump risen dough back onto your floured surface and punch it down. Roll it out to about 1/2 inch this. Use a jar lid to cut the dough into circles.
  7. Place dough on a pan and cover- let the dough rise again for another 1-2 hours. (Sometimes it doesn’t rise very much- mine didn’t, so don’t worry if a huge difference doesn’t seem to happen.)
  8. Bake the yeast rolls at 350° for 10-15 minutes. Make sure they do not over bake. Pull them out as soon as they start to brown. It took mine about 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from the pan and brush with butter.

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Monkey Bread

This is probably one of the best things I have ever made. When I was younger I really liked going to get cinnamon raisin biscuits from Hardees- and this is like a million times better. This monkey bread is a little different from most recipes I’ve found. I tweaked the ingredients, including some apples with the raisins. I also left out the rum/brandy and used a rum flavoring instead. I don’t have any cooking alcohols (yet!). The only bad part about this recipe is the fact that it takes forever to finish.


  • 1/4 oz of easy blend dry yeast (I got this in little packets at Food Lion.)
  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of room temperature milk
  • 1/2 cup of room temperature water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of rum flavoring (or 3 tablespoons of rum)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 granny smith apple- peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 stick of melted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Grease a bundt pan.
  3. Mix the yeast, flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. In the pile of flour, make a hole in the center.
  4. Mix the water, milk, and egg. Pour this mixture into the hole in the middle of the flour mixture.
  5. Grease hands and mix this together to make a soft dough. After mixing, dump the dough onto either a floured surface or pastry mat. (I use a pastry mat, it’s more convenient. You can get one for about 8 dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond.)
  6. Knead the dough for about ten minutes. You’ll want a smooth, elastic feeling dough.
  7. Grease or oil a bowl. Gather the dough into a ball and place it into the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap. leave it to rise in a warm place for about an hour. I usually put it on top of the preheated oven.
  8. About thirty minutes after setting the dough aside, place the apples and raisins in a pot. Add half of the melted butter, the rum flavoring, and a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat until warm. Set this aside.
  9. In a bowl mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside.
  10. After the dough has risen, you’ll need to knead it gently again. At this point I need about half of the raisins/apples into the dough. After it is combined, start to separate it into balls. I divided as I went, but about 2 dozen separate balls ought to do it.
  11. Roll each ball in what is left of the melted butter, then roll it in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Make one layer on the bottom of the bundt pan- about twelve pieces.
  12. On top of this layer, add some of the raisins and apples.
  13. For the second layer, repeat steps 11-12.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of the dough balls.
  15. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave it to rise for about another hour- or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
  16. Bake it for 30-35 minutes, or until it is well risen and golden.
  17. Cool and then removed from pan.

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