This one is the best, simplest dinner roll I’ve ever made and it comes together from just a few ingredients. Great for beginners! A classic and now a weekend staple.
Pour 2 cups milk into a large bowl. Add 15 gms yeast (use only powdered yeast)
Add 1 tbs sugar. Let it stand for 15 minutes in a warm spot, until the mixture begins to foam. Add 1 tsp salt and stir well. Add 6 cups plain flour. Knead the sticky dough well, adding warm milk (around half cup maximum. Do NOT add water, just the milk) Add 30 grams melted butter. Knead for few minutes until the dough turns really soft. Cover and let it rise for 1 hour or more – until the dough doubles in size. Punch and lightly knead the dough again.
Line a tray with baking paper. With floured hands, roll the dough into a thick log. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Form small balls of the dough and place them on the tray, leaving tiny spaces in between. Brush the top of the rolls with ½ tsp milk each. Cover and let it rest for a few minutes; the rolls will again rise and fill up the spaces. Place the tray in an oven and bake at 175 degrees for 25 minutes. The rolls are done when they brown on top. Remove and brush the warm rolls immediately with plain butter or garlic butter.
To keep the rolls soft – cover the tray immediately with a moist, clean cloth until you serve them. This will keep the rolls fresh and soft. Serve with salads and a side dish.
You can experiment various flavours with this basic recipe.
Cheesy Rolls – Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the dough. Or sprinkle some grated parmesan on top, when the rolls are done. Avoid using soft cheeses.
Indian Rolls: Add 1/2 cup caramelised onion and 1 tsp cumin seeds to the dough.
Fruity Rolls – Add dried cranberries, sultanas, blueberries or cherries.
Mediterranean Rolls – Add 1/2 tsp each of dried basil, dried oregano & dried parsley, along with 1 tsp crushed garlic or garlic powder.
Seeded Rolls – Add 1/2 cup each of any of these – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted sesame seeds, flax seeds or poppy seeds to the kneaded dough. Or 1/2 cup of mixed seeds would do, to give that extra crunch.
Notes: * Use the best quality POWDERED yeast. If the yeast does not foam, AFTER adding sugar to the milk, probably its lost its quality.
*The milk should be warm, NOT hot or cold.
*Don’t add too much salt. Sugar activates the yeast, salt does the opposite.
* Make sure your dough is workable – not too sticky, not too dry and not too springy.
*Hard crusts or breads mean that you are either baking on too low heat and for too long, or the dough you started off with was not kneaded well enough. KNEAD well.
* Don’t skip the brush with butter. If the rolls are already baked and look a tad dry, a drizzle of melted butter or a bit of olive oil can help shine them up right before serving.
*Follow the exact measurements – too much flour can make the rolls leathery and hard.
*Be sure to keep the hot rolls covered with a moist kitchen towel (NOT wet and oozing water, just moist) to lock in moisture. Then move them to a covered tin.
*Even beginners will have no trouble making these fluffy rolls; the dough can be prepped and chilled up to a day ahead. If you wish to freeze the raw dough, portion it out into balls, but freeze it before it begins to rise. If you’re freezing cooked rolls, make sure they’re cooled completely before they hit your freezer to prevent freezer burn. Warm in the oven before serving.
*Sugar needs to be added for the yeast to rise, but you may reduce the quantity of sugar and substitute flour with whole wheat flour for diabetics. You may try our Rosemary, Olive & Honey Wholewheat Rolls if you need a healthier option.
By Linda Joseph Kavalackal,
Christ & Co.