Friday, February 24, 2012

Soft Dinner Rolls

I have been searching for the perfect white dinner roll recipe, and I think the search is finally over. Before trying this recipe, my dinner rolls ended up more like hockey pucks than light, fluffy, soft rolls. Luckily I have an aunt, who happens to be a fantastic baker, and she directed me to this recipe from King Arthur. The first time I tried these rolls, they were almost perfect. I followed the original recipe which calls for quite a bit of yeast and a short rise time. They were good, but they tasted a little too yeasty. The second time, I decreased the amount of yeast and increased the rise time. My husband and I both agreed that the flavor profile was much better. If you are short on time, then use the original recipe, but if you have a little extra time, then use the recipe below. My aunt and I both use these rolls for dinner parties, and they are always a hit! 

Soft Dinner Rolls
Servings: 12 rolls

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup warm whole milk (105-110°)
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup warm water (105-110°)
1 tbsp. granulated sugar

In a large bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups of flour, yeast, and salt together. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the milk, butter, water, and sugar together. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Remove the paddle attachment and switch to a dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary during the knead time so that the dough sticks to the bottom of the mixing bowl, but not the sides. (The dough should still be elastic and tacky after kneading.)

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead by hand a few times until a ball forms, adding additional flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Do not add too much flour or over-knead though. (The dough should remain tacky after kneading). Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and toss to coat in oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Gently punch the dough down and transfer to a floured surface. Spread the dough into a rectangle and divide the dough into 12 equal portions using a bench knife or sharp knife. Roll each portion into a ball, keeping the remaining dough covered with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap at all times. Transfer the dough balls to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover gently with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for about 45 minutes or until well rounded and puffy looking. 

Preheat the oven to 350° and place an oven rack in the middle position. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190°. Do not over bake. Serve warm or transfer the rolls to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

To reheat the rolls, wrap in aluminum foil and bake in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, or until the rolls are warmed through. 

Source: adapted from King Arthur

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