Our friends invited us over for dinner recently and I knew they’d really appreciate homemade rolls. I’d seen this recipe for dinner rolls in my December issue of Everyday Food and had been meaning to make it so this was a good opportunity. This was one of the easiest bread doughs I’ve ever worked with. It wasn’t incredibly sticky so kneading by hand wasn’t terribly challenging. The first rise was perfect and I shaped the rolls and prepared them for the second rise. I put half in the freezer for another time and stuck half in my oven (it’s cold and drafty in my kitchen right now) to rise. Then I got absorbed in watching college bowl games and completely lost track of time. Next thing I knew my rolls were over-risen. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it until I started baking them. It wasn’t pretty and I don’t have any pictures to document the event but essentially they spread a ton and were really flat. I brought them to our friends because I simply didn’t have time to make another batch. We ate them but they were a bit sour and dense. Tonight I took the other batch out of the freezer and let them rise for a second time. I was much more careful this time and they rose perfectly. I did forget the egg wash before putting them in the oven but they were absolutely delicious nonetheless!! Soooo much better than last time. We had them warm with butter and they were the perfect complement to our pot roast. This is definitely my new go-to roll recipe!

(For what it’s worth, I’m sure this recipe could also be made in a stand mixer with the dough hook but it’s really not necessary since this dough is so easy to work with.)

Dinner Rolls
from Everyday Food, December 2008

1/4 cup warm water (115 F)
2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (115 F)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl and pans
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

Place water in a small bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, butter, sugar, salt, and 2 eggs. Whisk in yeast mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft, shaggy dough (if necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour). Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Butter the inside of a large bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours.

Butter two 13-by-9-inch baking pans. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 15-inch rope; cut each rope into 15 1-inch pieces. Press each piece into a disk, then shape into a ball. Arrange dough balls in prepared pans. (To make ahead: Wrap pans well, and freeze, up to 2 months.) Cover pans loosely with plastic; let stand in a warm spot until rolls have doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours (2 hours more if frozen).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg until blended; brush onto rolls. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Let rolls cool 15 minutes before serving.

Yields 30 rolls