Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Soft and Tender Dinner Rolls #BreadBakers

If there is any bread more delicious than a soft and tender white dinner roll, brushed with melted butter, I’d like to meet it. Because I don’t think there is one.

My grandmother was a fabulous cook – actually, they both were – but in this instance I’m talking about my maternal grandmother. Thanksgiving and Christmas were usually celebrated at her house and she put on quite the spread. I honestly don’t remember if she baked them every time, but I remember eating those soft white bread rolls that came in the foil (or was it some sort of weird cardboard?) pan, ready to bake. And they were wonderful. Not too yeasty that a child might object, brushed with butter and so soft and smushy that you could make a dough ball out of them, perfect for nibbling as you waited your turn to fill your plate with the other beautiful dishes. Those rolls were what I was hoping to recreate here for our Bread Bakers Thanksgiving event, where we have been challenged by our talented host, Holly of A Baker’s House, to bake bread fit for a special occasion.

I started with this recipe from All Things Delicious and made a few alterations to the ingredients and the method but I followed Hannah’s instructions for making the dough into classic round dinner rolls. (She shows several different ways of shaping the dough into special rolls so make sure to go have a look if you need some ideas.)  I have no idea if my Red Star yeast was more active than whatever was used in the original recipe, but I ended up with monster rolls. Beautiful, soft and tender but so big! Next time I will roll them half the size to get the rolls of my childhood memories. But I will definitely be baking these again.

If you are looking for a special bread to bake for your holiday table, make sure to scroll on down to see the list of 21 recipes we are sharing today. Many thanks to Holly for hosting!

2 cups or 475ml milk
1/3 cup or 80g butter
1/4 oz or 7g yeast (one sachet – I used Red Star Quick Rise Yeast.)
1 egg
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups or 625g flour, plus extra for kneading and sprinkling on before baking

1/8 cup or 30g melted butter for brushing on after the rolls are baked

Put the milk in a large microwaveable vessel (I use the biggest silicone measuring cup* from this set. It was a gift from my cousin years ago and I love it!) and add in the butter. Microwave until the butter is mostly melted, about 3-4 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.

Put the yeast in your mixing bowl and pour in about a cup or 240ml (no need to measure exactly) of the warm milk/butter mixture and set aside for about 10 minutes. You are hoping that the yeast activates and gets all bubbly. If it doesn’t, you need to buy some fresh yeast and start over.

Now add in 3 cups or 375g of flour, the egg and the salt to your mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until all of the flour is incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to mix in any flour left there. It’s a very runny batter at this point.

You can see the bubbly yeast/butter/milk there on the left. That's what it should look like!

Continue mixing and add the remaining flour by spoonfuls until all is incorporated. Now it should be wet and soft sticky dough but that’s what is needed for soft and tender rolls.

Now mix for 3-4 minutes, changing to the dough hook, if necessary, to help develop the gluten.

The finished dough

Cover the bowl with cling film and allow the dough to rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

Meanwhile, line your baking pan with parchment paper, a silicone mat or grease it liberally with oil or butter.

Once the first rise is done, punch the dough down and knead it briefly on a floured surface. Cut the dough ball into halves, then cut the halves into half again. Cut each piece into three to make very large bread rolls, or six to make more reasonably sized ones.

Roll the dough pieces into balls, pinching them from underneath to stretch the tops so they are nice and round. Put the balls, side by side, pinched side down, in your prepared baking pan.

Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with flour and put the whole baking pan in a clean, new garbage bag, capturing some air before you clip it shut, so that the bag doesn’t touch the top of the bread rolls. Allow the rolls to rise for about an hour.

About 15 minutes (or however long your oven takes) before the second rise is completed, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Bake the dinner rolls in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown all over.

Brush with melted butter and serve warm, if possible.


Tender, soft and fluffy. Just as a dinner roll should be. 

Our celebratory breads, for your enjoyment!


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

*This is an Amazon affiliate link. 

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