Homemade Dinner Rolls

Circle B Kitchen

If you don't have a mixer with a dough attachment, just mix your ingredients in a large bowl and then knead by hand for 5 or 6 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and satin-y. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe. This method makes very rustic-looking rolls which are wonderfully light and fluffy. Sometimes I roll each piece into a ball and pull along the counter to create surface tension and a pretty tight little ball. Place these in your baking pan and proceed with baking as noted. They will come out as shown in the photo. The surface tension creates a bit of a nice crust to each roll, while the inside is impossibly fluffy and delicious. Both methods turn out great dinner rolls. I made another change to the recipe, which I think is rather important, which is to make 24 instead of 16 rolls, which works so much better at big meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Makes 24

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water (12 1/2 ounces), room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

2 teaspoons honey

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon bread flour (16 1/2 ounces), plus extra for forming rolls

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour (about 1 ounce)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I added a little more)


1. Whisk water, yeast, and honey in bowl of stand mixer until well combined, making sure no honey sticks to bottom of bowl. Add flours and mix on low speed with dough hook until cohesive dough is formed, about 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.

2. Remove plastic wrap and evenly sprinkle salt over dough. Knead on low speed (speed 2 on KitchenAid) 5 minutes. (If dough creeps up attachment, stop mixer and scrape down using well-floured hands or greased spatula.) Increase speed to medium and continue to knead until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, about 1 minute. If dough is very sticky, a little more flour, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time and continue mixing 1 minute. Lightly spray a 2-quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray; transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Fold dough over itself; rotate bowl quarter turn and fold again. Rotate bowl again and fold once more. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Repeat folding, replace plastic wrap, and let dough rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

4. Transfer dough to floured work surface, sprinkle top with more flour. Using bench scraper, cut dough in half and each half into quarters. Cut each quarter into halves. You should have 16 equal pieces. With floured hands, gently pick up each piece and gently roll it into a ball. I place it on the counter and roll it around and then pull it against the counter to create surface tension and a smooth ball. Place each ball in the prepared cake pan. Arrange 8 dough pieces in each cake pan, placing one piece in middle and others around it Loosely cover cake pans with plastic wrap and let rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes (dough is ready when it springs back slowly when pressed lightly with finger). Thirty minutes before baking, adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

5. Remove plastic wrap from cake pans, spray rolls lightly with water, and then sprinkle with a little flour, and place in oven. Bake 10 minutes until tops of rolls are brown; remove from oven. (at this point you can let the rolls cool, cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temp overnight. When ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 10 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees; Continue to bake until rolls develop deep golden brown crust and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer rolls to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Because this dough is sticky, keep your hands well floured when handling it. The rolls will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature stored in a zipper-lock bag. To re-crisp the crust, place the rolls in a 450-degree oven 6 to 8 minutes. The rolls will keep frozen for several months wrapped in foil and placed in a large zipper-lock bag. Thaw the rolls at room temperature and re-crisp using the instructions above.

Note: When re-heating, I found that the 450 degree oven was a little too much. Five minutes at 375 degrees was about right. If you don't want to re-crisp the rolls, cover them with foil and heat at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.