Hello, hello. Today we break with tradition and enjoy a non-dessert recipe. Who even knew that was a thing this time of year? Joking aside, I have a wonderful dinner roll recipe here for you.
As someone who is not super proficient with yeast breads, I am typically too intimidated to give them a try. Last year my mom tried to cure me of this by helping me make dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls and sandwich bread. They all turned out edible and so this year I decided maybe I’d venture into the arena alone.
I had previously made this recipe a couple of times with limited success. The first time we made it (using a little whole wheat flour) we didn’t realize the original recipe makes 24 rolls and so ended up with 12 delicious monstrosities. Unfortunately the large size meant they weren’t quite cooked all the way through. They were great for leftover cranberry cream cheese turkey sandwiches though (my favorite!).
We later tried it again, this time halving the recipe for 12 normal-sized rolls but still using a whole wheat flour in place of some of the white. Much better outcome given the size issues from before, but although substituting wheat flour for part of the whole amount resulted in a lovely flavor, it seemed also to result in a rather denser texture than expected.
Take three, a year passes: Given my inexperience, I wasn’t positive the substitution was the culprit and figured I should probably make the recipe to the letter before determining what issues I may have with it. This year M and I were invited to a potluck Thanksgiving house party which seemed a perfect excuse to attempt this recipe yet again. I followed the recipe as directed and lo and behold: perfect rolls. Light and fluffy with a delightful buttery taste, they are the perfect addition to any dinner.
They have a wonderful flavor all on their own but dressed up with honey or butter and jam they are a perfect side dish and a delightful snack. Fantastic addition to a holiday meal but easy enough to be a fairly regular guest on the table. Also great for sliders or small sandwiches if you have a few leftovers the next day.
The only downside is they do not keep particularly well, so it’s best to eat them all on day one or two. It’s possible you could freeze them and thaw as desired but I haven’t tried this yet, so if you do please let me know how it works for you! On the other hand, if you have a crowd to feed the recipe is easily doubled from the yield of a dozen I have below.
I still hold out hope for the whole wheat version, so stay tuned for sometime next year when I finally figure it out.
Perfect Dinner Rolls
Adapted from The On-Call Cook
Makes 12 rolls
1 cup milk (2% or whole)
1/4 cup + 1.5 tsp sugar, divided
1/6 cup butter (about 2 and 2/3 Tbsp)
1 tsp salt
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (~110 degrees Fahrenheit)
4-4.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 eggs, beaten1
1 Tbsp butter, cold (optional)
- In a medium saucepan combine milk, 1/6 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Heat over medium until the butter melts, then place in the fridge to cool.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl, if you don’t have a stand mixer) gently stir the water, yeast, and 1.5 tsp of sugar. Set aside for ten minutes – if the yeast has not foamed do this step again until it does. If the yeast doesn’t foam, the bread won’t rise.
- Add two cups of flour to the cooled milk mixture (I just did it in the saucepan) and whisk by hand until completely combined.
- Add the flour-milk to the yeast, and stir on low with your stand mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in eggs until combined, then add 1 more cup of flour, and stir on low until combined.
- Switch to dough hook attachment. Add 3/4 cup of flour and mix on low until combined. Add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough starts to pull away from the sides into a ball. It will not all pull away – that’s normal. (It should total between 4 and 4 1/4 cups of flour or so.)
- Remove dough hook then cover bowl and place in a warm area to rise. Let rise 30-60 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size. (The rising time can vary drastically depending on how warm or drafty your house is.)
- Grease a 9×13″ baking dish, set aside.
- On a floured surface with floured hands, pat dough into a rectangle about 1″ thick. Use a pizza cutter or very sharp knife to cut into twelve equal pieces.
- Pinch each piece into a ball and place seam-side down into the baking dish. If, like me, your balls are not all the same size, put the two smallest ones in the middle.
- Cover and let rise again 30-60 minutes, or until balls have doubled in size. They should all touch each other with maybe just a little space where the corners are.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake rolls about 15-20 minutes. (With my oven 19 minutes seems to be correct.) Rolls should be golden brown on top and reach an internal temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer here as they will look done on top before they are done in the middle. Pro-tip: check a middle roll if you can.
- Let cool about 10 minutes, then rub the tops of the rolls with cold butter (optional, but it makes them pretty and shiny and extra tasty.)
- Serve plain or with your favorite toppings. They are also great for sliders! You can store leftover rolls on the counter for a couple of days, but they are definitely best on day one.
1 To measure half an egg, beat in a liquid measuring cup then use half of that. Save the rest to add to a veggie scramble. In future iterations I will try it with two eggs and one egg, and update the recipe with my findings.
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