If you’re like me, you grew up thinking “dinner rolls” meant those half-baked brown-and-serve rolls we all ate at Thanksgiving and other holidays. And the closest they got to elegant was the rare occasion when mom would get them to the table without burning them.
So, I was excited to try the next recipe in the Modern Baker Challenge, Elegant Dinner Rolls. It’s not that I had never made homemade rolls before. It’s just that I never made any that were worth the time and effort, or worth repeating.
This recipe is similar to many of the other recipes in the Breads section of The Modern Baker in that the ingredients are mixed in the food processor. However, after my recent near disaster while making Instant Sandwich Bread, I have sworn off using the food processor to mix dough and have gone back to my traditional methods — the Kitchen Aid mixer, autolyse, and stretch-and-folds.
The dough came together nicely and wasn’t as slack as many of the doughs in this section.
After fermenting the dough, I divided it into 12 pieces.
The recipe offers three different shaping options — classic rolls, oblong rolls, and knots — so, of course, I had to try them all.
After proofing for an hour or so, the rolls were nicely risen and ready to bake.
I baked the rolls for 20 minutes at 400° F until they were golden brown and smelled delicious.
Perhaps the best thing about dinner rolls is that you aren’t expected to wait until they cool to eat them. In fact, they are meant to be enjoyed fresh from the oven. And enjoy them I did.
They were delicious. Light, airy, yeasty. All the things you look for in a dinner roll. They weren’t perfect: I overbaked them a bit, so they were a tad dry. But this is definitely a recipe worth repeating. And the resulting rolls are worth the time and effort.