No-Knead Dinner Rolls

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Who out there has found a recipe, followed it to the letter, and thought part way through that it would be a total disaster?

When I made a no-knead roll (perfect for Thanksgiving) I was positive it was doomed to failure. The initial dough mixture resembled paste and was impossibly sticky. I was hoping to make a dinner roll that was flaky and delicate, but I was left with dough that was so sticky all I could do was messily plop it into a greased muffin tin. While I felt incredibly defeated, certain I had made one flop of a bread, I just tried to finish and make a roll that was at the very least edible.

I’m so incredibly happy I followed through with the recipe instead of tossing it, as I ended up with a roll so delicate, slightly crusty, buttery, and flaky it completely melted in my mouth. My initial misgivings about the recipe entirely disappeared as I enjoyed a roll, fresh out of the oven, which was one of best carbs I’ve had in months. Best of all, these rolls are great to make ahead, then freeze, then let defrost before serving.

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Dinner Rolls

Adapted from Pioneer Woman

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 9-10 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages (4 1/2 Tsp.) active dry yeast (be sure you don’t use the instant or rapid rise kind)
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (if using table salt, use 1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter

Pour 4 cups of milk into a large saucepan, stock pot, or Dutch oven. Add one cup of sugar and 1 cup of vegetable oil. Stir to combine, cooking over medium to medium-high heat, until simmering, but before reaching the boiling point. Remove from heat, and let mixture cool.

When mixture has cooled to approximately 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit, add 4 cups of flour and yeast. Stir to combine (I used a wooden spoon). Once mixture has partially come together (don’t worry, it will still look very clumpy), slowly mix in 4 more cups of flour (again, don’t worry, it will look like a disaster). Let rest in a warm spot, lightly covered with a lid or dish towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, divide stick of butter in half. Use half of the butter to generously grease 24 muffin tins. Set aside the remaining half of butter.

Once dough has doubled in size (the top of the mixture will look poofy and slightly bubbly), vigorously stir in 1 additional cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. At this point your dough may still be impossibly sticky. If so, slowly stir in additional flour, up to 1 cup more. The dough may still be very wet and sticky, but that’s okay.

Divide dough evenly between the muffin tins (you’ll want the dough to come close to coming level to the top of the muffin tin) (again, don’t worry if you have to messily plop the dough in, it will be lovely once it’s risen and baked), lightly cover with a dish towel or lightly greased saran wrap, and let rise for and additional hour, or until rolls have puffed.

Right before baking, melt remaining half stick of butter, and lightly brush over the top of the rolls.

Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 17 to 20 minutes. Rotate the pans 10 minutes into baking.

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