Perfect Sunday Dinner Rolls!

Today is the day that you become a holiday hero.

Because, Family, these dinner rolls are IT. They are impressively sized, equally delicious, and well worth the effort for Sunday dinners or holiday dinners alike.

Stacked dinner rolls on a table.

These dinner rolls are buttery, flaky, and rich; these are the dinner rolls that you put in the center of the plate so that they can touch and bless every dish.

**Unless, of course, you don’t like your food touching. Then you can put them on their own plate.**

These are perfect for sopping up extra pot liquor from Auntie’s famous collard greens, or gravy from that delicious turkey. If stuffed acorn squash is more your speed (and it should be because it’s amazing), these will accompany that beautifully as well. They are stunning to look at and equally delicious.

These are even great for those post-holiday sliders! Turkey, cranberry sauce and pickles in one of these babies is heaven on earth.

And now they’re here. With a video tutorial so that you can’t go wrong!

And guess what! You DO NOT need a stand mixer to make these. While a stand mixer makes the kneading process less physically taxing, you can make these unbelievable rolls with a wooden spoon and a large bowl.

I honestly prefer to make bread with my hands, when possible. There’s something so meditative to me about kneading dough by hand until it’s perfectly smooth. Few things in the world make me feel more accomplished than making bread from raw ingredients.

Hungry? Great! Onto the recipe!

Beginners Start Here

If this is your first time baking bread, or you’re intimidated by yeast, or if it’s been a while since you baked, here are some resources from the BwB website that will help you be successful with these dinner rolls!

While these aren’t mandatory reading, they are extremely helpful resources that will definitely help you execute this recipe to a T.

I hope you and your family enjoy these dinner rolls as much as my family and I do!

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overhead of stacked sunday dinner rolls

Perfect Sunday Dinner Rolls


  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Rise Time: 1 h 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 h 35 minutes
  • Yield: 30 rolls 1x

Description

These rolls pair perfectly with all the savory things, from rustic soups to elaborate holiday meals!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 125 g warm water (110°F-115°F)
  • 500 g milk (~105°F)
  • 2 tsp sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw, but granulated is fine)
  • 2 tbsp yeast (instant or active dry)
  • 42 g cold butter, cut into cubes, plus 4 tbsp butter, melted, for shaping and finishing
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 768 g flour, plus ~1 cup more for kneading (see note)
  • 2.25 tsp salt

Instructions

To Make the Dough by Hand:

  • Combine the water, milk, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl with a whisk.    Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes, or until the yeast blooms.
  • Add butter, egg, honey, salt, and half of the flour to the bowl and stir with a large wooden spoon until the flour is combined.
  • Add the rest of the flour and stir the mixture until it becomes difficult to stir.  While it will technically be a dough at this point, it will be extremely loose, sticky and lumpy from the butter!
  • Add flour, two tablespoons at a time, and knead in the bowl until the mixture forms into a rough ball. (3-5 minutes). Dough will still be pretty sticky at this phase.
  • Flour a clean work surface and turn the dough out onto the floured surface.  Flour the top of the dough and begin kneading.
  • Knead the dough, adding flour two tablespoons at a time when it gets too sticky to handle.  A bench scraper can be very helpful for kneading at this stage. (10-15 minutes).  The dough is complete when it forms a smooth ball and is tacky, but not sticky.
  • Lightly spray a large, clean bowl with non-stick spray.  Gather the dough into a ball and place into the clean bowl.
  • Cover the dough with a tea towel or loosely with plastic wrap, and place the dough in a warm area, free from drafts, for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

To Make the Dough with a Stand Mixer:

  • Combine the water, milk, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with a whisk.  Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes, or until the yeast blooms.
  • Add butter, egg, honey, salt, and half of the flour to the bowl.  Stir with the paddle attachment until the flour is combined.  (30 seconds to 1 minute)
  • Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook.  Slowly add the rest of the flour and allow the dough hook to knead the dough for five minutes before adding any additional flour.
  • If the dough is sticky, add flour two tablespoons at a time.  Continue kneading with the dough hook, and allow the dough to fully absorb the flour before adding flour. (5-15 minutes)
  • The dough is complete when it clears the sides of the bowl and when it feels smooth and tacky, but not sticky.  It might not clear the bottom of the bowl, and that is okay.
  • Lightly spray a large, clean bowl with non-stick spray.  Gather the dough into a ball and place into the clean bowl.
  • Cover the dough with a tea towel or loosely with plastic wrap, and place the dough in a warm area, free from drafts, for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

To Shape the Dinner Rolls:

  • Line a quarter sheet (11″x15″) cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Microwave 4 tbsp of butter for 30-45 seconds, or until melted.
  • Remove the cover from the bread dough and punch down the dough.  This is an essential (and very satisfying) step.
  • Using a digital food scale, weigh small balls of dough (between 56-60 g each) and roll between your hands to shape into a rough ball.
  • Place the roughly shaped ball on your work surface.  Make a circle with your thumb and index finger place the blade of your hand on the countertop next to the dough ball.  Roll the dough ball around 10-20 times, keeping the dough ball between the blade of your hand and the circle that you’ve made with your thumb and index finger.  For help with this step, see the video tutorial!
  • Place each dinner roll on the parchment-lined sheet, seam side down, giving about 1.5 inches between dinner rolls so that they can expand during rising and baking.
  • Once you’ve shaped all of the dinner rolls, gently brush half of the melted butter over the top of the shaped dinner rolls.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes, or until the rolls are doubled in size.

To Bake the Dinner Rolls:

  • About ten minutes into the final rise, move your oven rack to the upper-center rack (mine is rack #4), and set your oven to 375°F.  An oven thermometer is very useful for this step, since a proper oven temp is key for these rolls!
  • After the dinner rolls have doubled in size, bake them at 375°F for 15-17 minutes, or until the rolls are deep golden brown.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and brush immediately with the remaining butter.  Allow the rolls to cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

 

Notes

  • I keep an extra cup of flour in a small bowl for kneading.  This is roughly the amount that it will take for me to get to the smooth dough that I’m looking for, after all of the initial flour has been added.
  • I use King Arthur All Purpose Flour for this task, but you can also use bread flour.
  • These are big, hearty rolls.  You can adjust the size of these rolls adjusted to make hot dog buns and hamburger buns as well!  You just have to remember to adjust the second rise and bake times accordingly.
  • These dinner rolls freeze beautifully for up to three months.  You can take out what you need, microwave for ~45 seconds, and have fresh dinner rolls for your table.
  • Category: Bread

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Dinner Roll
  • Calories: 119
  • Sugar: 2.4 g
  • Sodium: 185.1 mg
  • Fat: 1.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.1 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 9.5 mg

See you next time! And don’t forget to subscribe while you’re here so that you can be among the first to see the exciting event that starts on Black Friday!

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Sunday Session #4: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Apple Pie!

Home » Featured Recipes » flour

Tip #1: You should really, and I do mean really, think about whether it’s a good idea to make pie crust when it’s 90 degrees outside and nearing 80 degrees in your kitchen.

Welcome to the most recent Sunday Session! This week, I wanted to do something I haven’t done in a while: make pie with all-purpose flour instead of pastry flour. If you saw my most recent post about flour, you know that I typically use pastry flour as my personal cheat code for pie because the lower protein content contributes to a more flaky crust.

I’m excited! Let’s get started.

Looking for something specific in this post? Feel free to use the hyperlinks to go straight to it!

In this post:

The Beginning

When making pie dough from scratch, it’s really important to start with very cold ingredients. The morning that I started this experiment, I prepped the ingredients and then put the ingredients and tools in the freezer while I went to do something else for about thirty minutes.

Pictured: Flour, Salt, Water, Butter, Pastry Cutter, and a corner of an apple. Photo Credit: Begin with Butter.

Please don’t ask what I did for thirty minutes. I honestly don’t remember. But I know I was gone from the kitchen for a period of time and that, Friends, is a notable fact.

I also had to prep apples, since that stuff in a can is an abomination:

There were many, many apples harmed in the making of this pie. All told, I prepped about 11.5 cups (by volume) of apples. For apple pie, I prefer a very sturdy apple since baking softens them significantly, so I mixed Granny Smith (the consummate baking apple) and Honeycrisp (for both its texture and natural sweetness) for this pie.

I am so glad I mixed those two apples because the Granny Smith apples in this pie were as tart as lemons!

The Need for Speed

Regardless of the weather, it’s always important to work as quickly as possible on pie crust. The best way to build your speed is to practice making pie crust over and over again! Win!

The reasons for speed are two-fold: first, because you’re cutting fat into flour to make the crust, you don’t want the fat to melt from being overworked. This would ruin your pie. #StartOver

Second, you have to introduce liquid (most people use water or vodka) into the mix and stir it in order to create structure, but you don’t want to create too much structure and do too much stirring because you’ll end up with a tough pastry crust from too much gluten development.

Speed comes from practice, Family. Please don’t be discouraged if your first pie attempts don’t meet your expectations!

The Method for Making Pie Crust

It was almost 80 degrees in my kitchen by the time I started making this pie dough. Luckily, my ingredients were nice and cold when I started working.

Still, since it was warm in my kitchen, I knew I was on borrowed time. Cold ingredients or not, butter will eventually get very soft once it’s exposed to room temp air.

This pie crust recipe (from the amazing Kate McDermott’s The Art of the Pie) is very straightforward. To begin, I added fat (butter) to a mixture of flour and water. Then, I used my pastry cutter to cut the butter into pieces about the size of fat spring peas. Because speed is a bit more important than precision, though, some pieces of butter were larger or smaller than others, and that’s okay!

For a demonstration about how to use a pastry cutter, feel free to take a look at this video:

Once I was done cutting the butter into smaller pieces, I added water to wet the dough just a little bit. It’s important to remember that the dough shouldn’t look wet at this point. You want just enough water to help the dough stick together. It shouldn’t look like a batter or cookie dough:

Three more tablespoons of water later and it was done!

The finished dough was still a dry, shaggy-looking mess, but it was beautiful in its own way. Pie dough is complete when it comes together just to the point that it stays together when it’s squeezed between your fingers.

I separated the dough into two balls, flattened each into a thick disc shape, and then wrapped each disc in plastic wrap to go into the fridge and rest.

You want to see big chunks of fat in your pie dough! Photo Credit: Begin with Butter

I usually let these dough discs rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Because it was so hot in my kitchen, I let it rest for several hours before moving onto the next step.

Roll Out

There are a couple of tricks that can help you roll pie dough on a hot day:

  • Fill a zip-top bag with ice and cold water, then lie it the surface where you plan to roll out your dough for 5-10 minutes;
  • Put your rolling pin in the freezer; and/or
  • Use a marble rolling pin and pastry board, like this one (not an ad).

I used none of those tips when I rolled out this dough:

Just threw caution to the wind and took my chances. So I had to work fast fast.

I have no excuse for being so reckless with this dough.

When rolling dough, you can use as much flour as you need to avoid the dough sticking to the rolling pin. For that reason, I used a lot of flour on this day.

To roll dough into a roughly even circle, I always roll my rolling pin away from my body, turning the dough in quarter turns after 3-4 passes with the rolling pin. I also turn over the dough a couple of times during the rolling process to make sure that the bottom isn’t starting to stick to the surface.

That technique helped me achieve the rough circle that you see, below. After rolling the dough into that rough circle, I brushed excess away the excess flour and was left with this:

Pie Construction

True story: it’s only when I get to the filling that I feel like my pie has a chance of not failing.

Once filled, the pie went back into the fridge so that I could work on the top crust. As a cute mom gesture, I asked my daughter how she’d like me to decorate the top crust. Of course she chose a lattice top. Of course she did:

I put the pie into the refrigerator before finishing the edges, just as a last bit of insurance against melting. This was also the time that I warmed up the oven.

After another half hour, I removed the pie from the refrigerator, crimped the edges and added egg wash. At this point, the DJ in my head started playing Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” on repeat.

The oven wasn’t finished warming completely (my oven is a habitual liar when it comes to temperature, but that’s another story for another day), so the pie went back into the fridge. Again.

The Bake and the Conclusion

This apple pie baked in my oven for a total of 55 minutes. I added some demerara sugar (Sugar in the Raw) for the last ten minutes of baking in order to give it a last special touch.

Here she is!

Y’all. This pie stressed me out. But I am so proud of how it came out. The crust was perfectly flaky and left telltale flaky crumbs on the table after our family dessert session. My daughter–who previously refused every pie I ever offered her–DEVOURED it.

I think it’s safe to say that pie with all purpose flour was an amazing success. While I did notice a slight difference in the flakiness of the pie, I think I was the only one (of the five of us who ate it) who even thought about it.

Do you find video tutorials helpful? Feel free to comment, below! And don’t forget to subscribe so that you can get weekly updates about everything BwB!

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The Five Flours I Keep Handy in my Kitchen

Home » Featured Recipes » flour

Friends. When I say I’ve been waiting for this day.

Today we’re getting into flour.

Well, not literally getting into flour. That would truly be messy and awful, since flour is more invasive than sand. But we’re going to talk about flour.

First, I’m going to do just the teeniest tiniest discussion about the science of flour, and then I’m going to tell you about the five (yes, FIVE!) types of flour that I keep in my kitchen at all times. For ease of reference, I’ll even hyperlink to specific sections in this article, in case there’s specific information that you seek!

person using brown wooden rolling pin
Photo by Malidate Van on Pexels.com

In this Post:

Let’s get busy.

*quick note: I’m going to mention specific brands of flour that I use in my kitchen. I’m not paid to mention them: I just think their products are the bees’ knees.*

What Does Flour Do?

Think of the cake you’re baking as a house.

Hear me out. This will end up making a lot of sense.

Like I said, the cake that you’re baking is a house. The flour isn’t the bricks and mortar, it’s the invisible, interior wooden framing that keeps everything upright. Flour is the thing inside your cake that gives it shape and structure, much like the wooden framing creates the internal structure for your home.

Photo by Kristiana Pinne on Unsplash

Without framing, your home would collapse inward because there’s nothing inside to give it structure. Flour does the same thing. Except, you know, in cake. And cupcakes. And bread. And pizza.

You get the point.

What is Gluten?

When flour meets its best friend, liquid, the combination of the two begins to make a gluey, sticky mess. That mess is the beginning of gluten development. It’s the foundation of your cake or bread.

Gluten development simply means that combination of flour and liquid have begun to form a honeycomb-like structure in your batter or dough. The purpose of that structure is to create tiny cellular “walls” to trap the carbon dioxide that’s been created by your leavening. The gas forces the honeycomb to open, which is what causes baked goods to rise.

Once the delicious pastry or bread in the oven reaches a certain internal temperature, the gas…goes away. It just evaporates. But the inflated holes created by the gas remain.

For information about carbon dioxide and why it’s LITERALLY NO BIG DEAL in your baking, click here to learn about leavening.

TL;DR version: leavening creates gas that fills the gluten honeycomb and makes your baked goods rise. This gas is not nefarious. It is your friend.

Protein (Not the Lean Meat Kind)

The strength of the gluten network (or honeycomb, because I like that foodie visual), is determined by the protein content in your flour. That, in a nutshell, is why there are different types of flour for different types of baked goods.

Flour with a higher protein content is created from “hard wheat” (in the U.S., this is typically grown in the Midwest) and creates a stronger gluten network, which allows for a higher rise in your baked goods. However, a stronger gluten network means a more chewy finished product. That’s why high protein flour is typically used for things like bread and pizza dough.

Higher protein flour encourages gorgeous, huge holes that you see in your favorite artisan bread because the strong gluten network holds onto the leavening (yeast or starter) longer, so the leavening can do more work and create more rise in the dough. The stronger gluten network that’s created by the high protein flour also creates a beautiful chew for your breads and pizza doughs. Typically, high protein flour has a protein content of anywhere between 12 and 15 percent.

Photo by laura adai on Unsplash

Low protein flours do the exact opposite. Low protein flour is created from “soft wheat” (in the U.S., this is typically grown in the South). This type of flour creates a more delicate, crumbly texture for whatever it is that you are baking. For this reason, low protein flours are the choice for cakes, pie crusts, and pastry; these have a protein content of anywhere between 5 and 9 percent.

Middle-of-the-road protein content flours can play both above and below their weight class. Which is to say, they can make good bread and also good cakes, and are good for “all” purposes (see what I did there?). The versatility of all purpose flour is the reason why it is so popular; because flour is a perishable ingredient, it’s not always practical to stock your kitchen with multiple types of flour, unless you bake very frequently and are want to make every product the absolute best it could ever be.

It truly is. But it’s still not cost-effective.

All purpose flours typically have a protein content between 9 to 12 percent.

Onto the fun part! Next, we’ll look at the five types of flour that are always present in my kitchen.

Flour #1: Cake Flour

Cake flour is just delightful. Coming in at the lowest protein content (usually 5 to 8 %), it makes the most spectacularly delicate cakes and cupcakes. Some people even use it for cookies, although I haven’t tried that yet.

{runs to Begin with Butter “Bits and Bobs” notebook to write down experiment idea}

Anyway…

Things made with cake flour have the most delightful, light crumb. That gluten network is not strong, which leads to the most tender crumb of the bunch and the cake won’t rise as high. For a yellow cake or lemon pound cake that’s just a little more special, or that divine coconut meringue cake of your dreams, cake flour is your best friend.

Photo Credit: Begin with Butter

I currently use King Arthur Baking’s Cake Flour (coming in a little higher at 10% protein content), and I’ve been super happy with it!

Cake flour is an expensive ingredient, and it might not be worth the purchase if you’re only going to use it once and forget about it. But it’s a luxurious treat every once in a while, even if you’re just making a mug cake (please don’t judge me; sometimes I just NEED cake).

Flour #2: Pastry Flour

Some people like perfume and jewelry.

Give me a croissant that shatters and makes a mess. Seriously.

Pastry flour is typically a very low protein flour (between 8 and 9 percent). Because of the lower protein amount, the gluten bonds that form are not as strong. This means that the pastry will be much more tender and much much less chewy. It also means that you won’t get as high of a rise from it either, since the weaker gluten network won’t be able to contain the gas from the leavening as well.

I use pastry flour for pie crusts mostly, but this stuff is THE BOSS for croissants and most French pastry.

Photo by Kavita Joshi Rai on Unsplash

I equally love King Arthur Baking’s Pastry Flour (8% protein content) and Bob’s Red Mill White Fine Flour (8-9% protein content). Bob’s is easier to find on store shelves in my area, so I tend to use it more. They both do an exceptional job when I’m making pie crust.

Flour #3: All Purpose Flour

All purpose flour might not have the star power of the other flours, but it is the most solid performer of the bunch. If I am out of a specialty flour and I need a substitute, I can use it for just about anything.

Even here, in this blog post, it’s literally…in the middle of the flours.

It really is amazing when you think about it. A good all-purpose flour could make a very good bread or a very good cake. It’s the best sixth man in the business.

All purpose flour creates a stronger gluten network (the honeycomb) than cake flour and pastry flour, so baked goods made with all purpose flour will be a touch more chewy than baked goods made with cake flour and pastry flour. Again, though, it won’t be enough for most people to notice the difference!

And I’ll take a homemade cake with all purpose flour over any stale thing on a store shelf with cake flour. #RealTalk.

I am an unrepentant King Arthur Baking All Purpose Flour fanatic. Because I also own a cottage bakery, I have also used King Arthur Baking’s Sir Galahad Flour.

Family. While I agree that “Sir Galahad” is a fancy name, I have it on good authority (the good people at the King Arthur Baking’s very official Baker’s Hotline) that these flours are the same, except for the fact that the Sir Galahad flour is enriched and that it comes off of a commercial line that’s designed to make 50-pound bags of flour instead of 5-pound bags of flour.

Both the All-Purpose and the Sir Galahad flours have an 11.7% protein content. Despite being on the very high end of the all-purpose scale, they both make surprisingly delicate pie crusts and sponge cakes. With a protein content that high, you can imagine that they make very good bread as well. For fans of The Gloria Bakery, all purpose flour is actually my favorite for my famous milk and honey rolls.

Photo Credit: Begin with Butter

There it is. The first and only trade secret from The Gloria Bakery that I will ever share.

Yay for all purpose!

Flour #4: Bread Flour

I talk about cake and cookies a lot, but I have an equal crush on bread. There’s something both very primal and loving about making bread for people that you love.

Bread flour is a staple in my kitchen because I make a LOT of bread and pizza dough. The King Arthur Baking Unbleached Bread Flour that I use is just…*chef’s kiss*.

I love love love a good chewy pizza crust on Friday night and a sturdy artisan boule on Saturday with giant holes in the middle to dip in soups, stews, and sautéed mushrooms in butter. Bread flour, with its wonderfully high protein content, will help you achieve both of those things. And bonus: bread made with bread flour holds its texture extremely well in those soups, stews, and sautéed mushrooms. So sop away!

Photo by Vicky Ng on Unsplash

One caveat: when using bread flour, be sure to be careful about how much you add during the kneading process. There’s a very thin line between delightfully chewy and inedibly tough. Bread is a time investment and I’d hate to see you get frustrated!

No worries, Saints! We will be talking bread techniques soon.

Flour #5: White Whole Wheat Flour

Though I don’t tend to use it all that often, white whole wheat flour is an amazing addition to my flour lineup. It’s a nice middleman between bread flour and whole wheat flour, which I cannot cajole threaten beg encourage my children to eat.

White whole wheat flour is a whole wheat flour, but it’s made from a different, milder type of wheat than traditional whole wheat flour. The difference is a milder taste; it’s more earthy than all purpose flour, but definitely less hearty than a whole wheat flour.

I use King Arthur Baking’s White Whole Wheat flour, and it’s been an amazing addition to my repertoire. It comes in at 12.2% protein, so I wouldn’t bake anything but bread or pizza crust with this one.

What kind of flour do you keep in your kitchen and what are you making? I’d love to know!

I hope you found this tutorial useful. If you love what you see, feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss a “beet”!

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