Who doesn't enjoy a good roll? What with the cold, wet and dreary winter we are having here in Southern California I find myself craving more breads and comfort foods than I have the past few winters which have been much dryer and warmer. And these rolls are just the thing when you are chilled through and want a nice hearty meal to take the chill away at the end of the day.
This is a classic dinner roll recipe that I've been making for the past twenty years. It's based on an old version of the Walter Sand's bread recipe that was given out at a King Arthur Flour's baking class that I've adapted to making dinner rolls. These rolls are wonderful served warm from the oven with butter and they are also great sliced in half to make a delicious kaiser roll for small sandwiches or my favorite treat is to top with cream cheese and lox for a savory brunch item. I have no doubt these versatile rolls will become a favorite of your family!
Yield ~ 16 dinner rolls
1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon mild flavored honey
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon granular sugar
1/2 cup dry milk
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
51/2 to 6 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
cornmeal to prevent sticking to baking sheet
1. Make the Sponge: Warm a bowl with hot water and wipe dry. Add 1/2 cup warm water and stir in yeast, flour and honey. Set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly and foamy.
2. Make the Dough. To the sponge add: 1 1/2 cups warm water, sugar, dry milk, butter, salt and 5 1/2 cups flour. Using a dough hook or large spoon stir mixture until it begins to cling together.
3. Kneading: Turn dough out onto a wooden kneading board and place the remaining 1/2 cup flour in a pile next to the dough. Knead dough until it begins to feel smooth, adding only enough flour to keep it from sticking to the board or your hands, roughly 3 or 4 minutes. Allow dough to rest while you clean and lightly grease your rising bowl (I use olive oil). Continue kneading dough another 3 or 4 minutes until it feels smooth and springs back when pinching an ear lob portion of dough.
4. Rising: Form dough into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning to oil top. Cover and place where it will be warm without drafts. Allow dough to rise until doubled (roughly 1 to 1 1/2 hours).
5. Shaping: Knock dough down and divide dough in half until you have 16 equal pieces of dough. Form each piece into simple round rolls or roll in hands to make a long rope and twist into desired shape (link to a youtube video demonstrating how to form rolls).
6. Final Rise: Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering with cornmeal or poppy seeds to prevent sticking. Place rolls on baking sheets and cover with either a floured linen cloth (flour rubbed into the linen prevents the rolls from sticking to the linen and also removes moisture) or a lightly oiled plastic wrap. Allow rolls to rise 1 hour.
7. Baking: At least 15 minute prior to baking preheat oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking mist rolls with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until centers of rolls read 190 F on an instant read thermometer or when rolls sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. The tops should be lightly browned. I usually bake each tray of rolls separately.
As an additional bonus leftover rolls freeze well!
Loosely adapted from the Walter Sands bread recipe in the King Arthur Cookbook.
Until next time, be well, love well and why not live large this weekend and enjoy a hot roll ;)
Simcha on top of the world enjoying a morning hike with his mommy. No cold weather will keep him inside and aside from comfort food I've rediscovered the comforts of wearing long underwear!