Thursday, October 23, 2014

Baking Bonus: The Perfect Dinner Rolls

I am sorry. I'm gonna come right out and say it. I make the best damn dinner rolls in the world. 

I sort of stumbled across this recipe because the previous recipe I used to use included an egg, and simply put, one night I was out of eggs. 

So I hunted around for an eggless recipe, but frankly they all seemed...boring. I didn't want just white bread in bun form. I wanted a chewy, fluffy, flakey, beautiful roll that was reminiscent of croissants and the cafeteria rolls of my childhood. 

I got the gist of what other recipes wanted me to do. Some wanted me to use more yeast. Some suggested replacing the egg with oil. Nothing seemed quite right on its own.

But I figured it out. On the first try. And now I'm writing it down, for posterity and the world-wide fame that will inevitably follow the publishing of this recipe. 

I know, I sound very full of myself. 

But guys. Guys. Look at this picture:

#nofilter y'all. 

Go ahead. Click "Read More." I dare you. 

I'm not even joking. This recipe is everything I love about bread and more. 

A soft, fluffy, beautiful inside:

A buttery, slightly chewy, golden crust:

And a recipe that's easy to remember and makes so...



I get 18 good-sized dinner rolls from this recipe. Or 9 amazing, unforgettable extra large sandwich buns (awesome for hamburgers). Or 12 slightly larger rolls perfect for day-to-day sandwiching purposes. 

Every time I make these the family goes nuts. I have successfully used the promise of additional rolls as a bargaining chip, resulting in a consumption of extra helpings of veggies the likes of which I have never witnessed from my sometimes-picky kids. 

They're amazing right out of the oven, of course, but they're good cold the next day too. The sheer quantity of butter in these babies (what? I didn't say they were healthy...) keeps them moist for a day or two even in the fridge. 

Or at least I imagine it does. Most of the time they don't last more than 24 hours. 

The best part? The recipe is a no-brainer, especially if you have a bread machine. I may never go back to store-bought again.

So without further ado, the recipe that will change your Sunday dinners and Thanksgiving holidays forever...



1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup powdered milk*
1/4 cup melted butter, plus 2 Tbsp for brushing later
2 tsp. salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. instant yeast

*If you don't have or like powdered milk, I'm sure you could go half and half with warm water and milk. If you choose to go this route, I'd recommend mixing the water and milk together and warming in a pan over low heat for a few minutes to get it all at a good temperature.


  1. Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order listed above. 
  2. Select your dough setting and let it run until done. Mine takes about an hour and a half. 
  3. Once it's done, set your oven to 200F. 
  4. Remove the dough from the pan and place on a floured cutting board. You may need to sprinkle the top of the dough with flour too...up to 1/4 cup if your dough is really sticky.
  5. Knead the dough lightly until it's smooth and the flour you added has been incorporated. 
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 18 equal pieces. I do this by cutting the dough in half, then cutting each half into thirds, then each third into thirds. 
  7. Take each piece and form it so that the cut sides are pinched together on the bottom and place in a foil or aluminum roasting pan or baking sheet. 
  8. Drizzle or brush with melted butter. Let the butter run down the sides and use your brush to move the excess around the spaces between the buns so the pan is coated. 
  9. Cover them with a cloth napkin or dish towel and place on top of the oven. If you can't put things on top of your oven, place the pans inside the oven, turn the heat all the way off, and leave the door open a crack. 
  10. Let the buns rise for no less than 45 minutes. They should at least double in size. 
  11. In the last 10 minutes of rising, remove the pans to the counter and preheat the oven to 375F. 
  12. Bake the buns for 12-15 minutes. I can almost always pull them out right at 12 minutes and they're perfect. 


These rolls are extremely versatile:

  • Garlic Bread: Add minced garlic to the water while you're adding your other ingredients to the bread machine, and mix powdered garlic into the melted butter you brush on the top. 
  • Fragrant Herb Bread: Toss some fresh chopped rosemary and thyme on top of the flour before kneading. 
  • Honey Wheat (my favorite variation): Substitute whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour and honey for the sugar to make a delicious, dense honey wheat roll that is basically perfect for sandwiches (especially PB&J's!):

(Because of the wheat flour and the honey, the rolls won't puff up as much in the oven. But do everything else exactly the same and they will turn out great!)

I will officially never buy bread at the store again. Sunday has now become "bake the week's bread" day. I'm gonna need to invest in one of those fancy bread boxes. 


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