Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Best Dinner Rolls You will EVER Have

This past Thanksgiving I decided no more factory made crap, *I* was going to attempt to make the dinner rolls! After scouring the internet for days, I actually came across a really good and easy recipe for the best dinner rolls I think I have ever eaten. Surprisingly, it is a King Arthur Flour recipe that I found, a little hesitant because the brand is pretty commercial, I tried it and will never look back, plus their blog is really fun to read.

Keep in mind when cooking for holidays you don't want to do ALL of your cooking on that morning, actually, you shouldn't even want to do some of your cooking on that morning. I did a little experiment with these rolls by making them they day before, but I was afraid that maybe they might not taste as fresh the next day. Boy was I wrong. I par-baked these the day before, they were still snow white, but then popped them into the oven on Thanksgiving Day and 10 minutes later, perfectly golden dinner rolls.

Well, the most recent holiday was New Years Day so I decided to make these rolls again. We had pork tenderloin roasted with carrots and onions, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, acorn squash and of course my ever so fluffy dinner rolls!

This recipe makes 24, which is a lot, but they last for a couple of days I found out, however, since they are so yummy, you may not have to worry about that. I've broken this out into steps, hopefully making it a bit easier to follow and understand. You will need anywhere up to 6-7 cups of flour, even though I don't mention specifics below just yet. Just follow each step, and read ahead before you begin.
Watch how quickly the yeast activates!


Step 1:
Proofed Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp instant yeast (yes, table spoons!)

Mix these together and allow to sit for a couple of minutes until it becomes foamy, its now very alive!

Step 2:

Mix in 5 cups of white flour, slowly so that you don't get flour everywhere if using a stand mixer (with paddle attachment). The dough will look very sticky and not well formed, this is ok! Add 1/2 cup more flour until the dough starts to come together, switch to the dough hook and let your mixer knead for about 5 minutes. Very quickly, and lightly, push on the dough, it should spring back, this means it is done. I actually ended up kneading a bit by hand because I like the way the dough feels and I like being able to feel when its about ready.
Sticky dough, add more flour to form the ball

Step 3:
Place your dough ball on the counter and place your bowl over the dough. It will rise for only about 15 minutes. At this point you can preheat the oven to 350F if baking today. I am going to par bake my rolls and finish them tomorrow just before dinner.

This dough is very soft but not sticky
Step 4:
Test the dough. You will want to now poke your finger pretty far into the dough, and the indent should stay. Yay, next step!

Step 5:
Form the dough into a rectangle, I'd say about half inch thick and then slice into 4 strips. Cut each strip into 6 pieces....6x4 = 24 rolls!

Step 6:
Form each 1/6 piece of dough into a smooth round and place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can put them a little close, but not too much. They will need to now rise for another 15 minutes. It is ok if they are touching, when they bake, you pull them apart and they look just like dinner rolls! You could even freeze the dough too at this point.

Step 7:
After the rolls have had their second 15 minute rising, bake them at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden. Since I par bake, I will go for about 10-15 minutes until they have just set and no longer doughy and then bake for another 10 minutes just before serving. 

Note: Can I just tell you how wonderful the house smelled as these were baking? I wish I could put a scratch n sniff dinner roll on this page somewhere!


  1. Thanks for this. I have been looking for a great dinner roll recipe. A friend made the best rolls at Thanksgiving, but when I made the same recipe, they didn't rise properly and were very dense.

  2. I made these rolls and it was a complete flop. King Arthur's said my yeast was dead as I did not get one bubble, they also said to use Bread Machine Yeast, is that what you consider instant yeast? How can you tell when you purchase your yeast if it is fresh? I had just bought mine earlier in the day.

  3. I dont know about the yeast being dead. I've had yeast for years and it always seems to work. Did you use the 2 full tablespoons of it?

    OK so I just checked the jar of yeast that I have been using, it does say bread machine yeast. I remember buying it because I wanted the larger jar, but they only had bread machine yeast in that size.