Good Old American White Rolls
Welcome to Part I of my new series Baking Outside My Comfort Zone. While I love to bake, there are some recipes that still intimidate me and seem out of reach. I have a new goal to conquer my fears and I’m taking you along for the ride. First up, yeast breads!
This is not the first time I’ve made rolls. I’ve made so many, and some of them have been pretty good and some have not. I’ve baked my fair share of rolls that were so dense they’d go straight to the bottom if you chucked them into the sea, which is probably what you’d want to do if I ever tried to feed you one.
I’ve never been able to bake that perfect dinner roll with a soft, delicate, and airy texture. At least not one that I’ve been completely satisfied with and proud of. Until now.
These rolls were so easy to make, and so easy to do well. I spent some time studying the instructions, browsing tips from Red Star Yeast and attempting to remember lessons learned in culinary school years ago. I think it was the extra effort and awareness that really made the difference with this batch.
The result? Perfect, delicious dinner rolls that rival anything your neighborhood bakery sells. Rolls that would be a lovely accompaniment to any meal.
More yeast bread recipes coming soon!
Rising and Proofing
Letting kneaded dough rest so that the yeast can do its job will improve the volume, flavor, and texture of the bread. A second rising (or proofing) after being shaped will increase volume, give the bread a finer texture, and improve the flavor further. You can test if your dough has risen enough by pressing the dough with your finger. If the indentation remains, your dough is ready. If not, give it more time.
Let the dough rest in a warm place, covered with a towel or plastic wrap to retain moisture. Here are a few suggestions:
- Oven: Heat your oven to its lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off. Place the covered dough on the center rack and close the door.
- Microwave: Heat 1 cup of water in your microwave for 2 minutes. Place the covered dough in the microwave and close the door.
- Other: I’ve also risen bread on top of a warm oven, running dryer machine, and even on a chair set over a heater vent.
More baking tips can be found on Red Star Yeast’s online Lessons in Yeast and Baking.
Good Old American White Rolls
Simple and delicious white rolls, a great accompaniment to any meal.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and butter just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes (temperature should be 120-140 degrees F).
- Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 1 1/2 cups of the four, sugar, salt and yeast. Add the milk/butter mixture until incorporated. Add the eggs and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining flour a few tablespoons at a time until all incorporated. If needed, add more flour a tablespoon at a time to achieve a dough that clears the bowl, is sticky to the touch, but does not stick and come off on your hands. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes
- Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rolling the top in the butter or oil to grease it as well. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
- Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Divide each of those pieces into 3 smaller pieces. Shape into rounds and place in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise again until an indentation remains when lightly pressed with your finger, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden brown on top, about 20-25 minutes.
To make the glaze:
- Melt the butter and honey together. Brush on to tops of rolls immediately when they come out of the oven.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions are my own.