Simple Homemade Dinner Rolls
My partner, Liam, loves to bake bread. If he tells you otherwise, don’t believe him. Recently, he put together this recipe so we could have fresh buns for veggie burgers. The rolls are soft, delicious, and aromatic as can be — simply perfect for Thanksgiving, and quite easy to make. Don’t be scared when you see all the print in the directions. I just wanted to be as specific as possible so you’d get perfect results! Feel free to swap the “everything” seasoning for your own blend of flavor magic. This is a recipe you’ll want to hang on to. Enjoy.
Liam’s Everything Dinner Rolls
1 cup (8 oz.) lukewarm water
4 tsp. active dry yeast
4 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup olive oil (vegetable and canola are ok, too)
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 tsp. table salt
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
1 tbsp. minced garlic (dehydrated garlic flakes)
1 tbsp. minced onion (dehydrated onion flakes)
To begin, prepare the “everything” seasoning. Simply mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. You will end up with enough for two batches of rolls. Set aside.
In a deep mixing bowl, gently combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 tbsp. sugar. Leave this alone and allow it to bloom for 15 minutes. It will look foamy and thick when finished.
Whisk the remaining 3 tbsp. sugar, oil, and the egg yolks into the yeast mixture just until smooth, then stir in the flour and salt. Move the spoon around until it starts to pull together into a dough, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead it until it forms a smooth ball. This takes me exactly 8 minutes every time, and it is amazing holiday stress relief, especially with a glass of wine nearby. The dough will be sticky, so be sure to add a light sprinkle of flour each time the dough starts to stick either to the counter or to your hands.
NOTE: You can knead this dough in a stand mixer. Use your hook attachment and let it go on low for 6-8 minutes, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes more.
Lightly grease a large, clean bowl, then lay the smooth ball of dough inside. Cover with a dry cloth. Set your oven to its lowest temperature (200°F is good) and allow it to begin heating up for 2 minutes, then turn the oven off but leave the door closed. After a few minutes, open the oven door to allow some heat to escape for about 30 seconds. Place your covered bowl inside and let it rest with the door closed for 1 hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.
Remove the bowl from the oven and quickly close the door so the heat inside doesn’t escape. Uncover the dough and either punch it down or use all your fingers to press down deeply, deflating it. Don’t go crazy. Replace the cloth and return the bowl to the oven. Allow to rest with the door closed for 30 minutes.
When you remove the bowl this time, heat the empty oven to 350°F (or 325°F if your oven tends to bake things too quickly). Before it gets warm, lower the middle baking rack one rung so that it’s not close to the bottom of the oven but isn’t in the very center. This will keep the “everything” seasoning from burning. If you can’t lower the rack a bit from the center, just be sure to keep an eye on the rolls as they bake and cover them for the last few minutes if they start to brown too fast. If you decide to omit the “everything” seasoning, leave the rack in the center of your oven.
Turn the dough out onto a clean, dry counter and portion it into 12 obsessively even pieces. It is very important to make sure that they are all the same size so that they bake evenly.
Cup your hands around each piece of dough and gently roll it around on the countertop to form a ball. As you work, lay all 12 onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Be sure to evenly space them out so you have 3 straight rows of 4 rolls. Gently cover the rolls with your dry cloth and allow them to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Uncover the rolls. Combine the whole egg with a splash of water and lightly brush this mixture over the entire surface of each ball of dough. You will not even come close to using all the egg wash. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of your everything seasoning evenly over the tops of the rolls. A fair amount will spill onto the sheet pan, and that’s OK.
Bake for 20 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before eating. Best enjoyed warm.
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P.S. Try this recipe for the perfect pumpkin chocolate chip muffin.