Take a moment, close your eyes. Imagine you're out to dinner, you've just sat down at the table and your server says those five magical words, "I'll bring some bread over". The anticipation of a warm, freshly baked roll compels you to have more than one — omitting the reality of the entree currently being prepared. Nonetheless, this is one of the many reasons you came, for this exact moment. Though they're usually complimentary, soup, pasta and other dinner selections would not be the same without the addition of these miniature yeasted loaves.
Flour, butter, sugar, milk and yeast— five elements mixed together to create pillowy soft bread rolls. The simplicity of its ingredients, combined with the intricacy of its shaping and baking technique, makes it quite hard for you to have just one!
Though bread making carries a stigma of difficulty, it's quite simple.
Patience, practice and a preheated oven are all you need!
Grab an Apron & Let's Get Started!
Dinner Rolls 101
Flour: For this recipe, I chose to stick with all-purpose flour. I wanted the texture of the rolls to be light and airy — yet substantial enough to withstand any meats, spreads or salads that might go in between them. As discussed in prior recipes, bread flour gives us that "chewy" factor, an attribute I didn't necessarily want.
Fats: Though the addition of butter (usually unsalted) is standard throughout most bread recipes. I decided to include vegetable oil into the mix. The addition of oil prolongs the bread's shelf-life and soft texture.
Add-Ins: Although this is a "plain" recipe, the addition of raisins, currants or coconut are welcomed — as these rolls are simply the blank canvas for any add-ins you'd like to try.
How to Make:
Easy soft Dinner Rolls
Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 cup evaporated milk *warm
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope of active dry yeast (approximately 2 1/4 tsp)
4 tbsp unsalted butter *softened
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
optional: 2 tbsp of melted butter
In a small bowl, combine warm evaporated milk, sugar and yeast. Stir gently and set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow yeast to activate. *It will gradually begin to form a foam on the surface*
In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour and salt.
Add the egg and butter to the yeast mixture and stir until butter is fully incorporated.
Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture, mix until a soft dough begins to form. If you are using a stand-mixer: Use the dough hook attachment, mix for about 5 minutes at medium speed. Add up to 2 tbsp of flour at a time, if your dough is still a little too sticky to roll out.
In a large bowl add a bit of oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around until completely coated.
Cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour- 1 hour 1/2.
Shape and Bake:
Preheat oven to 375º. Generously coat a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and cut it into 12 equal pieces (about half the size of your fist). Roll each one in your hands or onto the counter quickly to make a dough ball. Place the rolls in the pan, leaving a bit of space between each one. Cover with a clean towel and let them rest for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Optional: Fresh out of the oven, baste rolls with melted butter.