1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups water at 105 to 110 degrees
4 cups bread flour, divided
1 7-gram packet instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup baker’s dry milk
1 teaspoon dough conditioner (optional)
- Heat the butter until it is almost melted and set it aside.
- Grease the inside of 10x15-inch pan or a large baking sheet, including the rims.
- Measure the water. Use an insta-read thermometer to get the temperature right.
- Place two cups of the bread flour and the yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer equipped with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on for a couple of bursts to disperse the yeast. Add the water and mix for 30 to 60 seconds.
- In another bowl, mix the rest of the flour with the salt, sugar, dry milk, and dough conditioner. Add this mixture to
- the wet mixture along with the melted butter.
- Knead with the dough hook on medium speed for four minutes or until the gluten is well-developed.
- Grease a large mixing bowl. Turn the dough out into the large mixing bowl and turn once to grease both sides of the dough ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside to rise. It should double in size in about 45 minutes. If it has not, let it rest longer.
- Divide the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place the balls on the greased pan about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit again to rise. They should double in size in about 45 minutes. Let them rise until they are very puffy. If they start to blister, poke the blisters with a toothpick and place the rolls in the oven.
- Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until the tops are browned and the internal temperature is at least 190 degrees. Remove them from the oven. After a few minutes, remove the rolls from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
Dennis is the founder and general manager of The Prepared Pantry www.preparedpantry.com in Rigby, Idaho, a full-line kitchen store and online retailer of food, baking mixes and ingredients, and kitchen tools. This came from Meridian Magazine, Thanksgiving 2010.
I made these for Thanksgiving and they were the best. Made them 2 other times and altho they were fine, they weren't anywhere near as fine as the first time. I think the comment that all times are estimates is accurate. I'd say just leave the dough to rise til it rises as described.
The #1 tip for making light dinner rolls
Patience. Let them rise. Forget about the time in the recipe. Time doesn’t matter; how much they have risen does. When you think they have risen enough, let them rise some more. Let them rise all the way to the point when they are about to blister. They should look puffy, full of air, and be soft to the touch. An indentation should slowly spring back if at all. It is possible to let bread rise too much but people usually don't.
The #2 tip for making light dinner rolls
Great flour. It has to be high protein—at least 10.5% and 11% is better. But there is a lot of difference in flour. Find one that works well for you in your kitchen and stick with it.
There is almost a cult-like following for General Mills Harvest King. We use it in almost all of our bread mixes. It’s hard to find in grocery stores but check; it’s also sold as Better for Bread Flour. (We can sell you a bag of Harvest King but the shipping is a little painful.)
And keep your bag closed up. Your great flour won’t remain great if it’s exposed to the air. Especially in the West, it dries out. We store opened bags in large, food-grade plastic bags closed with a twist tie.
The #3 tip for making light dinner rolls
Use a good dough conditioner. It should give you 10 to 15% more rise plus a nicer texture.
Dough conditioners are proprietary products and every producer’s will be a little different. The one we use (and sell) enhances the gluten structure with longer strands to create a better structure that will capture more gas and make your rolls lighter. It also lowers the pH in the dough. Yeast likes a slightly acidic environment. (Did you ever wonder why our grandparents added a tablespoon of lemon juice to their dough? It too lowered the pH.)
The #4 tip for making light dinner rolls
Use a thermometer. It’s hard to tell when your rolls are done just right by looking at them. And the time in recipe is a rough estimate. Use an insta-read thermometer and stick the probe through a crease to the center of a roll. The temperature should read 195 degrees.
There you have it. If you would like to learn more about baking ingredients, download our free “Baking Ingredients and How they Work.” The Prepared Pantry sells ingredients and tools for bread bakers.