Wednesday, January 30

Crusty Dinner Rolls

Dinners here at the inn always include homemade bread on the side. Sometimes I make a cottage wheat baguette, sometimes cornbread or biscuits, sometimes our multi-grain house bread, and sometimes dinner rolls.

I went with my favourite dinner rolls -- dark and crusty on the outside with a rich-yet-airy and tender interior -- for a dinner recently. When the eight guests collectively ate the whole batch of 18 rolls then asked for the recipe, I decided it would be a good one to share with all of you.

I use a bread machine to mix any kind of yeast-based dough and let it rise, simply because it does its thing unattended, leaving me free to do whatever else needs doing. But I always, always, shape the dough by hand and bake it in my oven, either free form or in a bread pan. If you have the time and a bit of bread-making experience, go ahead and make this recipe using your preferred method. Then please come on back and let me know how it turns out and if you did anything to adapt the recipe!

No matter how you make them, I hope you enjoy these tasty little bread rolls as much as we do!

Crusty Dinner Rolls
Makes 18 rolls
1/2 cup milk, warm but not steaming
1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter, very soft
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine and process on Dough/Manual cycle*. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with flour.

When bread machine cycle is compete, transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times until smooth and elastic.
Divide dough into 18 equal portions (a digital kitchen scale makes this easy and precise).

Shape each piece into a smooth, tight ball and place seam side down on prepared baking sheets. Dust balls with flour and rub to coat.

Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to snip or cut a cross in the top of each ball.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper and a clean dish towel over each pan of dough balls. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffed and nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°.

When risen, uncover dough balls and bake until deep brown and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.

Serve hot or warm. Pass the butter, please!

*I use a bread machine to mix dough and let it rise, but if you don't have a bread machine you can use a stand mixer with a hook attachment or even just a sturdy spoon and your own two hands. Follow the method of your favourite bread recipe for mixing, rising, punching down, and rising again. Then shape and bake as described above.


ANITA said...

Dear Jackie,

Made your rolls yesterday and had to tell you how wonderful they were! So fast and easy. Will be making them often. Thanks for posting!

Beloit, WI

Jackie said...

Thanks Anita! I'm glad you liked them!