Knotted Dinner Rolls
Happy Monday everyone, I hope you had a nice weekend and are ready for the week. I’m counting down to the number of working days that I have left for the year :) And pssst… I also already started thinking about what I’ll be cooking for Christmas dinner. So let’s start with these really yummy dinner rolls. I don’t really consider myself a food snob; although I pretty much noticed that people don’t bake or cook for me anymore ;-) They bring me gifts after I had both of my babies, but nobody brought me dinners. A few of them sheepishly told me that they were too intimidated to bring me anything homemade. While I’m not as picky as most of my friends think that I am, I am pretty much picky when it comes to my dinner rolls, and I really try not to make a big deal out of this when I go out to restaurants. I absolutely adore homemade rolls, breads and its kind. Nothing makes me happier than homemade breads. I appreciate the good ingredients that go into homemade breads, the time it takes for the yeast to rise, and works its magic into homemade breads.
I basically stopped buying refrigerated dough rolls even if I don’t have enough time into planning homemade bread or rolls for my holiday dinner. Sometimes I would go to my locally-owned bakery and buy their beautiful crusty loaf, either a French baguette or a sourdough. But other than that, I’d rather have my dinner without rolls. In my mind, dinner rolls need to be simple: a little crispy skin, but not too crispy, just crispy enough that you know it’s the skin of the bread, but moist enough that you know it’s dinner rolls. The interior needs to be a little bready, but not too coarse, just enough moistness, and have the beautiful buttery fragrant. It tastes great fresh out of the oven, with salted butter, but also tastes buttery and still perfect at room temperature.
And my friend, I have to say that these rolls, are my new best friends. They’re pretty simple to make, although it takes time to prepare, and to rise etc.They can be prepared up to four days ahead, which is fantastic news if you let’s say have weekends’ guests. You can whip a batch of these on a Friday night, and have two trays of them that you can pop into the oven for both Saturday and Sunday brunch or dinners. They’re wonderful for your bread basket in the morning for breakfast: I think they’ll be fantastic with just a simple butter and marmalade jam, or homemade berry jam if you have them. Give these a try!
Knotted Dinner Rolls
Yield: 18-20 rolls
For the dough
1-1/2 cups whole milk; more as needed
1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2-1/4 tsp.) instant or active dry yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil; more as needed
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 lb. 7 oz. (5-1/4 cups) unbleached bread flour; more as needed
1-1/4 tsp. table salt or 2 tsp. kosher salt
1 large egg
For shaping and baking
Vegetable oil spray
1 large egg
Poppy or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Make the dough
In a small saucepan, heat the milk until lukewarm (about 95°F). Remove from the heat and whisk in the yeast until it dissolves. Add the oil and butter—the butter may begin to melt, but it’s OK if it doesn’t melt completely—and then whisk in the sugar. Let rest until the yeast just begins to float to the surface, about 5 minutes.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl), combine the flour, salt, and egg. Add the yeast mixture and mix on low speed (or with a large spoon) until a coarse ball of dough forms, about 1 minute. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed (or knead by hand on a lightly oiled work surface) until the dough feels soft, supple, and pliable, about 3 minutes; it should feel tacky to the touch, but not sticky, and pull away from your finger when poked instead of sticking to it. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 Tbs. flour at a time, kneading to incorporate. If it’s stiff, knead in 1 Tbs. of milk at a time.
Rub a little vegetable oil on a work surface to create an 8-inch circle and put the dough on this spot. Stretch and fold the dough over itself from all four sides to the center, crimping it where the folded ends meet, to form it into a tight, round ball.
Put the dough seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl that’s twice the size of the dough. Tightly cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Shape the rolls
Line two 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners and lightly mist them with vegetable oil spray.
Using a bench knife, divide the dough into eighteen pieces (about 2-1/4 oz. each).
With your hands, roll one piece into a 12-inch-long rope. If the dough starts to stick, mist your work surface lightly with vegetable oil spray or wipe it with a damp towel. Don’t use flour.
Wrap the dough around your fingers into a loose knot; there should be about 2 inches of dough free at each end. Wrap the left end of the dough up and over the loop. Wrap the right end down and under the loop. Lightly squeeze the two ends of dough together in the center to secure them.
Gently squeeze the whole piece of dough into a nice rounded shape. Put the roll, pretty side up, on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Mist the top of the rolls with vegetable oil spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Let the rolls sit at room temperature or refrigerated until they just begin to swell, 30 minutes to 1 hour for room-temperature dough, 1 to 1-1/2 hours for refrigerated dough.
Bake the rolls
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. If using a convection oven, heat it to 375°F; if using a conventional oven, heat it to 400°F.
Thoroughly whisk the egg with 1 Tbs. water and brush all over each roll. Sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds (if using) on the rolls.
While the oven heats, let the rolls continue to rise at room temperature, 20 to 40 minutes. They should be 1-1/2 to 2 times their original size before they go in the oven. (Once in the oven, they will rise about 20 percent more.)
Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the sheets 180 degrees and swap their placement on the racks. Continue baking until the rolls turn rich golden-brown on top and develop some browning underneath, another 6 to 8 minutes. Let the rolls cool on the sheets or on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the dough up to 4 days ahead. Refrigerate it well wrapped so that it slowly rises to double its size then shape as directed.
Source: The amazing Peter Reinhart from Fine Cooking