Making homemade bread has never been one of my baking strengths. I think it has been my relationship with the yeast. I’m not sure that we get along very well. ;). But if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I thrive on trying until I succeed. And I can honestly say that I may have tried recipes for rolls possibly a hundred times. (Ok, maybe 20)
The idea of spending almost the entire day making bread was just too much. Mixing the bread, letting it rest, then rise – then punch down for yet another rise. I just couldn’t really find the time. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. So many of us have busy lives with kids, jobs, etc. I hate to admit that I actually gave up on making bread for a bit, then about 6-7 years ago I attended a bread class and discovered this recipe. Bread mixed, rolled, rising and baking all in one hour? Yes, sign me up.
The recipe is very easy, and the dough is so versatile that can be used for so many different things. But since we have Thanksgiving in a few days here, I wanted to share this recipe for these soft, white, fluffy dinner rolls so you could add it to your Thanksgiving meal. The bread itself is insanely good. So good. I mean, it’s full on super soft white bread and carbs. What’s not to like about that? You’ll find the outside has a perfect crust and the inside is warm and filled with soft layers of flakey dough. My mouth is watering!
There are a few key steps to ensure the success of this bread dough. If you’re new to bread making or if you are just simply making this for the first time, I recommend that you read through the step by step instructions here as you follow along with the recipe. As far as ingredients go, I use a local bread flour company, Lehi Roller Mills for my flour in this recipe but I have also used and recommend King Arthur Bread Flour. I always get consistent results with King Arthur. The recipe calls for ‘instant’ yeast. I like a few different brands, Saf Instant yeast or Red Star’s Platinum Instant yeast. For the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, choose one that is light in flavor. I actually love using Costco’s which is the Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil. I use it for everyday cooking and sometimes baking. I only splurge on more expensive olive oil for decadent finishing sauces or dressings.
Start by measuring out your ingredients, except for the water. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the bread flour, the instant yeast, granulated sugar, and fine kosher salt or table salt. Mix for about one minute.
While the dry ingredients are mixing, you can prepare the hot water. I usually just let my tap water run until its pretty hot. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the mixing bowl. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the water slowly. I set my KitchenAid to the number 2 setting. I don’t pour the water in all at once, I like to add a little at a time to ensure the water is completely mixed in. You’ll also want to make sure you pour the water around the outside edges and in the very bottom of the bowl, so that there is no flour at the bottom. The pictures below are the stages of the dough mixing, beginning with thew initial mix, then the dough fully mixed.
Mix for 5 minutes on low speed. The dough will be slightly sticky. Place dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead into an round or oval shape.
Divide the dough in half, then in half again. Continue dividing the dough until you have 16 pieces of dough. To ensure equal sizes in my dough, I use my kitchen scale to measure out each piece. Each dough round weighs about 2 3/4- 2 7/8. Or you can easily eyeball each piece.
Take each piece and pull the sides into the center and pinch to create a seam.
Turn the dough over, so it is seam side down and continue to shape into a ball.
Work as quickly as you can because the dough begins to rise immediately. Place the dough in a lightly greased, 9×13 pan. Space each dough round evenly to allow for rising.
Cover the dough with a flour sack towel and let rise in a warm place for 20-25 minutes. I like to place mine in my oven on a “keep warm” setting, then after a few minutes I turn it off.
After the dough has risen, bake in your oven that has been pre-heated at 350. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
I like my rolls soft and tender, so if you’d like the center more cooked through, bake for a few minutes longer. And enjoy warm, delicious rolls in hardly no time at all. Using a pastry brush, add softened butter to the tops of the rolls. I also like to add flakey sea salt and chopped, fresh rosemary on top for a beautiful, delicious finishing touch.