Saturday, January 2, 2016

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Absolutely the best dinner rolls I've ever made. I probably ate about half the tray when they first came out of the oven, knowing they would never be as good again. These come from Cooks Illustrated, and I found their instructions unnecessarily fussy with regard to dimensions. I know, I know - you should follow their directions to the letter. But frankly, I think with a couple of shaping adjustments, as included below, this is even easier to put together than what they suggest.

Note - the dough will be very sticky. Very. Do not dust counter with additional flour. Instead, consider dampening your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cooks Illustrated

Flour Paste:
1/2 c water
3 T bread flour

1/2 c milk, cold
1 egg
2 c bread flour (11 oz)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 T sugar
1 tsp table salt
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 T unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE FLOUR PASTE: Whisk water and flour together in small bowl until no lumps remain. Microwave, whisking every 20 seconds, until mixture thickens to stiff, smooth, pudding-like consistency that forms mound when dropped from end of whisk into bowl, 40 to 80 seconds.

FOR THE DOUGH: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk flour paste and milk together until smooth. Add egg and whisk until incorporated. Add flour and yeast. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 1 to 2 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Add sugar and salt and mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes. With mixer running, add softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to mix on medium-low speed 5 minutes longer, scraping down dough hook and sides of bowl occasionally (dough will stick to bottom of bowl).

Transfer dough to very lightly floured counter. Knead briefly to form ball and transfer, seam side down, to lightly greased bowl; lightly coat surface of dough with vegetable oil spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Grease 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.

Transfer dough to counter. Press dough gently but firmly to expel all air. Pat and stretch dough to form 8 by 9-inch rectangle with short side facing you. Cut dough lengthwise into 4 equal strips and cut each strip crosswise into 3 equal pieces.

Working with 1 piece at a time, stretch and press dough gently to a rectangle slightly less than half the diameter of your pan. Starting on short side, roll dough to form snug cylinder and arrange shaped rolls seam side down in prepared pan, placing 10 rolls around edge of pan, pointing inward, and remaining 2 rolls in center.

Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When rolls are nearly doubled, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake rolls until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rolls cool in pan on wire rack for 3 minutes.

Invert rolls onto rack, then re-invert. Brush tops and sides of rolls with melted butter. Let rolls cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Caroline said...

Yum! Have you ever read the CI recipe for Chicago-style deep dish pizza? Ridiculously complex and not at all authentic. Uncle Joe at Star Pizza in Houston never, ever made his pies with rolling pins, butter, cornmeal, Dragone's mozzarella, or any of that nonsense, and a Star Pizza pie is my gold standard. Thanks for paring this recipe down - I've saved it with every intention of making them someday soon. I bought some Sister Schubert's rolls at Central Market last month, and was disappointed. Have you ever tried freezing these, and if so, at what point do you freeze them?

Donut Army said...

Hi Caroline - ha, thanks for the comments on the deep dish pizza. I hadn't tried it, but I do tend to gloss over any recipe that rolls over onto a second page.

Sister Schubert's were my Mom's go-to rolls for years, but I've never had any luck with them tasting close to homemade.

I've not yet tried freezing these rolls. I would imagine you would want to freeze them after shaping (and placing in the pan) and before that final rise. Theoretically, I suppose you could shape them and wrap separately in waxed paper, then, you could freeze as individual rolls, stored in a baggie, rather than taking up a baking dish. That might be very convenient...