Mopping up the last of a saucy/soupy meal with a soft, buttered dinner roll is one of life’s glorious, simple pleasures.
1 cup (250 ml) milk – you could use plant-based
1 sachet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
60g butter, softened – you could use plant-based or oil
1 tsp salt
1 egg – this egg adds a richness to the rolls but feel free to omit it.
450 g plain bakers flour
Oil for greasing – any vegetable oil will do, or you can use butter
Mopping up the last of a saucy/soupy meal with a soft, buttered dinner roll is one of life’s simple pleasures. The pillowy, warm interior, the lightly floured top, the gorgeous look of them all buddied together in a baking tray; dinner rolls are nothing short of fairy tale food. This recipe can come together in a few hours and needs no special equipment. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you can utilise it; otherwise, good old hands work a treat.
Prepare the dough: Heat the milk until it is lukewarm, then whisk it with the yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Add the egg, butter, salt, and about 1/3 of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon for approximately 30 seconds to incorporate all the ingredients, then add the remaining flour. Continue to use a wooden spoon to mix for about 2 mins until the ingredients come together into a workable form (it will be a bit of a scraggy mess, but if you can lift it altogether, it’s ready for kneading). If the dough seems too wet to knead, mix in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough.
Knead the dough: Dust a clean, level surface with flour and tip the dough out onto it. knead the dough by pulling, pushing, stretching, pressing and folding it over itself continuously, as if you were giving it a massage! (If you’d like some visual help, we made a little video for demonstration). Continue to knead the dough for 7-10mins until it becomes smooth and elastic.
1st Rise: Grease your large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning it to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-1.5 hours or until double in size. While you wait, grease a 20×30 cm baking pan or 30 cm ovenproof frypan.
Shape the rolls: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into 14-16 pieces; just eyeball this – imperfection is perfection! Shape each piece into a smooth ball by pulling the outer edges underneath and twisting them together to fasten the shape; again, we made a little video if you’d like some visual guidance! Arrange the shaped rolls evenly in the prepared baking vessel.
2nd Rise: Cover shaped rolls with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until puffy.
Bake the rolls: Adjust oven rack to a mid/low position and preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Store any leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.