Buttery, fluffy, and soft dinner rolls are the best to have with any main course. This bread recipe needs only 6 ingredients, 10 minutes to prep, and 20 minutes to bake with some proofing time in between
Yeast - In a small bowl or measuring cup combine warm milk (110 F), yeast, and sugar. Stir and set aside to foam for 3 mins.Pro-tip- instant yeast does not need to be activated but I like to ensure my yeast is good and working for me. You may choose to add all ingredients directly to the flour.
Dough - Measure the flour and salt in a large bowl or stand mixer with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and combine well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Scrape the sides of the bowl.Pro-tip - if you do not like kneading I highly recommend using a stand mixer with the hook attachment.
Knead breadBy hand - transfer to a well-dusted worktop and knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes using the remaining flour only if necessary. Stand mixer - once all the flour is well incorporated knead on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes
Butter - Then, add the butter and knead again for 3 minutes more by hand or 2 minutes on the stand mixerPro-tip - avoid the temptation to add more flour. We want soft, light, and fluffy rolls, and this is only possible when the dough is soft, elastic, yet slightly sticky
Bowl - When the dough is soft, shiny, but still slightly sticky shape it into a ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl seam side down. Coat the surface with cooking spray to prevent drying. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
First rise - Leave in a warm place. Let rise for 60 to 90 minutes until double in volume. Pro-tip - in winter you may need 90 minutes or more but in summer the dough may double in 45 minutes. If you can't attend to it at that moment. De-gas, reshape, and let double in volume again.
Divide - When the dough is double in volume transfer to a well-dusted floured surface. De-gas, reshape into a ball. Then roll into a small log. Pro-tip - at this point there is no need for additional flour. So use a light dusting of flour.
Using a dough scraper divide this log into three portions and then each of those portions into 3 again. This should give you 9 dinner rolls. Pro-tip - the odd number 9 is because we are using a square baking pan. you can also divide into 8 medium or 12 small rolls, use an 8-inch round or quarter sheet pan.
Shape and bake
Shape - Hold each piece of dough in your hand and gather all the seams together. Pinch the seams at the bottom then place the ball on a non-floured surface while still holding it in your hand. Loosen the grip on the dough and roll back and forth into a tight circle against the work surface. You will feel the dough become tight and smooth. Pro-tip - the goal is to create a tight, smooth ball. If you overdo the rolling you will rip the top surface which will give a rough, not smooth roll.
Proof - Grease or spray a 9 x 9 square baking pan. Place the rolls in the pan. Seam side down. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes until almost double in size.Pro-tip - Spray the plastic wrap with oil to prevent it from sticking to the rolls.
Oven - When the rolls are almost double in volume at about 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 375°F /190°C / Gas Mark 5
Egg wash - Brush the rolls with milk, cream, or egg wash.Pro-tip- Egg wash is a full egg with 2 tablespoon of water. An egg wash will give a nice golden brown color.
Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes until lightly golden on top. When baked brush with melted butter Pro-tip - this is optional but adds a nice flavor and keeps the top crust soft.
Cool - Take them out of the pan and cover them with a clean kitchen cloth for at least 5 minutes to keep them softPro-tip - do not leave the rolls in the pan for too long as the steam will make the bread soggy on the bottom
Measure all ingredients ahead of time, so you don't forget anything at the last minute.
For accuracy, use a weight measure for the ingredients because every cup of flour can weigh differently depending on how you fill it.
The liquid (milk or water) must be warm (not hot) - about 110F. If the liquid is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Similarly, if the liquid is too cold, it will not activate the yeast.
Though instant dry yeast has a long shelf life, it can get ruined. Always check the expiry date on the yeast. If unsure, combine the yeast with water/milk, sugar/honey, and oil/butter from the recipe and let stand 5 minutes. If it gets foamy the yeast is good to go. If not, it's best to buy fresh yeast or check the temperature of the milk.
Keep salt away from yeast as it can kill the yeast. I like to combine salt with the flour then add the yeast mixture.
A soft loose well-hydrated dough is not necessarily a bad thing. Often, it will give you a soft puffy bread. So, don't be tempted to add more flour than mentioned in the recipe.
Kneading is key to making good bread. While kneading by hand can be therapeutic, using a stand mixer is easier and quicker.
Leave the dough at room temperature to rise until double in volume. While not recommended, when in haste, you can place it in a warm (30 C / 75 F- not hotter) oven this will expedite the rise.
Bread does not have to be time-consuming. You can leave the dough in the fridge to rise for a few hours (even overnight) while you go about your chores. A slow rise will give more flavor to the bread.
Always preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes before you place bread in or the low temperature will spread the dough too much.
Overnight Rolls - The dough can be prepared a day in advance. Proof them for an hour on the counter then punch down and let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. Overnight proofing is a great way to add flavor to the bread. The next day, continue with the recipe as directed, rolling, and shaping the chilled dough.
Storing these rolls- These dinner rolls do freeze beautifully. Cool the baked buns then place them in a freezer-safe storage bag. These can be frozen for up to a month.
Kneading the dough - The dough does need kneading so if possible try using an electric mixer.
Bread machine - these rolls can be easily made in a bread machine. Pour all ingredients in the pan set to dough or manual. Start and let the dough run its cycle for about 9 to 10 minutes - continue with the recipe as shown above.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you