i’m usually guilty of purchasing thanksgiving dinner rolls. the work involved to make rolls from scratch always seemed like an unnecessary complication in an already busy day, but this year i was feeling kinda ambitious and decided i wanted to tackle some dough. the thing that takes these rolls from amazing to downright superheroes is that they can be made a day ahead. the precise reason i’ve hesitated to make scratch rolls in the past was my reluctance to be juggling gravy-making, heating other sides, baking rolls, and plating while the turkey is resting and being carved. it always felt like biting off more than i could chew for a 20-30 minute time period. but just having to toss this in the microwave to warm? that i can totally handle.
there’s something almost sort of pretzel-rolly about these (while still being traditional white dinner rolls), and i literally could have eaten the whole pan. i didn’t…which is good because they’re pretty substantial, but i totally could have.
now i just need to find where i stashed my maldon sea salt flakes instead of that sad sprinkle i resorted to using for this photo.
recipe from half baked harvest, with a few method adaptations
| ingredients |
i cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 cups flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg
3 1/2 tablespoons to 4 butter, melted; for brushing on rolls
| method |
in a large mug, warm milk in the microwave for approximately 40-45 seconds, until warm but NOT HOT. hot milk will kill your yeast - we want to wake it up, not boil it. stir the sugar into your warm milk to dissolve, and sprinkle the yeast on top. give it all a quick stir and let the yeast proof in your cup until puffed, about 10 minutes.
while the yeast is proofing, set your egg in a glass of warm water to bring to room temperature. remove after a few minutes and dry it off. melt your butter in the microwave and set aside.
add your flour, potato flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. give it a quick stir with a whisk. once your yeast is proofed, pour the milk mug contents into the flour, along with the melted butter, and crack your egg into the bowl.
fit your mixer with a dough hook and run on medium to let the dough come together. i let the dough hook do some kneading and also work it a little by hand, until the dough is smooth.
grease your mixing bowl and add the dough back into it. let rise in the oven with the light on for 90 minutes. (this is my favorite spot to let dough rise due to the warmth, but if your oven is occupied on thanksgiving, on top of/near the warm oven is perfect too.)
melt additional butter in a small bowl and set aside.
turn your dough out of the bowl, and divide in half. shape/roll half the dough out into an 8” x 12” rectangle. cut the rectangle in half again, so you have 2x 4” x 12” strips. brush with butter and cut each rectangle into 4 even pieces (so you have 8 squares of dough.) roll into a coil and repeat with the remaining half of dough, so you have 16 rolls total.
place all rolls seam-side down in a greased 9” x 13” baking pan, long sides down the long side of the pan so you have 4 rolls down and 4 rolls across. smush each roll down a bit so the bottom of the baking pan is mostly covered. place the rolls back in the oven with the light on and let rise for 45-60 minutes more.
near the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden on top. hbh recommends leaning toward underbaking rather than overbaking. when done, remove the pan from the oven and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. serve immediately and rejoice.
alternately to make ahead: let rolls cool to room temp and store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. pop in the microwave with a damp paper towel and microwave for approximately 30 seconds, until warm.