It’s not only fall and bread-making season, but it’s almost time for Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday, and that is probably because of the giant feast I get to prepare and indulge in. The planning and preparation that goes into Thanksgiving dinner can never be started too soon in my opinion. Since Halloween is right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about the big meal!
Side dishes can take the stage for many Thanksgiving dinners, and one common dish is Buttery Dinner Rolls. Here at The Chopping Block, we have an awesome recipe that I like to make my own additions to. First and foremost, when I make any type of dough (pasta, bread, pizza, etc.), I use my hands versus a food processor. Essentially, using your hands helps you appreciate the finished product much more, and there’s a great sense of accomplishment! Here is our recipe for Buttery Dinner Rolls. Please note I've put asterisks by my additions.
Buttery Dinner Rolls
Yield: 18 to 20 rolls
Active time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours, 30 minutes
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sea salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water, between 110º and 115º
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
3/4 cup cold water
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted, for brushing the tops (*Note: I like to use brown butter for brushing the tops. Just let the butter sit over heat for a little longer until it smells sweet, nutty, and has a darker color, almost brown.)
Maldon Sea Salt or any type of Sea Salt for crushing over the tops before baking (*Note: This adds a lovely contrast of saltiness to the sweetness of the bread.)
1. In a heavy saucepan, gently heat the milk, 6 tablespoons butter, salt and 6 tablespoons sugar until warm just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Combine warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Check the mixture to ensure it’s alive; the yeast should begin to bubble and foam within 10 minutes. *Note: You can also use mixing bowls if you plan to knead the dough by hand.
3. Add the cold water to the milk mixture. Be sure the milk is not too hot—it should no longer be steaming and feel just warm to the touch—and then add it to the yeast.
4. With a dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon or (even by hand), mix in the flour, reserving about 1/2 cup of each. Combine well. Adjust dough consistency as necessary with reserved flour or a bit more water.
Knead 10 to 15 minutes by machine or 15 to 20 minutes by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
5. Place dough in a bowl covered with a damp towel. Let it rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator.
6. Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish.
7. Punch dough down gently and divide into 2-ounce pieces (slightly larger than golf ball size). Round the pieces of dough in the palm of your hand.
8. Place shaped rolls into buttered baking dish so that they are barely touching each other; cover with plastic. Allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
9. Preheat the oven to 350º. *Note: Before putting rolls into the oven, brush with brown butter and sprinkle on Maldon Sea Salt.
10. After about 20 minutes or so, open the oven and add some brown butter with a spatula brush. *Note: I find that basting the rolls while they are still in the oven baking creates an even softer texture.
11. Bake the rolls until well browned and the internal temperature reaches 200º, about 50 to 60 minutes.
12. Remove from oven and brush with melted brown butter.
These rolls are an outstanding addition to any dinner table, and especially for any Thanksgiving Feast. Try making them with your hands today, or you can watch one of our chefs make these rolls from scratch during our Thanksgiving Crash Course demonstration cooking class coming up in November!
Don't miss this opportunity to see the entire Thanksgiving meal prepared in real time. You'll go home with a game plan with foolproof recipes, time line, and even a shopping list.
Here's The Chopping Block's Owner/Chef Shelley Young demonstrating these rolls.
Want more how to cook videos? Check out our online video library.