Stuff your Thanksgiving leftovers into bread dough and surprise your guests the next day with these pull-apart rolls! I used a simplified version of Two Red Bowls' milk bread recipe for the bread dough. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Joy Huang is no stranger to our contests, with one win and 12 Community Picks!
WHAT: Pull-apart rolls stuffed with whatever Thanksgiving leftovers you have.
HOW: Make a yeasted milk bread dough, then stuff a heaping tablespoon of Thanksgiving leftovers into the middle of the dough. Bake the rolls until golden brown and serve with butter and leftover cranberry sauce or gravy.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you want to completely transform your leftovers, this is the recipe for you. They happily accept any and all leftovers, making them very adaptable to what you have on hand after the big meal. —The Editors
To make the tangzhong, whisk the water and 2 tablespoons of flour together in a small saucepan until there are no lumps left. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the mixture just starts to gel. As soon as lines start to appear in the mixture when stirred, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Heat the milk to about 110°F by heating in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set aside to allow the yeast to activate, about 5-10 minutes.
Sift or whisk together the rest of the flour (2 3/4 cups), salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. When the yeast is ready, add the tangzhong and egg and whisk to combine. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until the mixture forms a loose, shaggy dough, then use the dough hook of the stand mixer to knead until the dough forms a semi-smooth ball. Add the butter to the dough, one tablespoon at a time, kneading after each addition. Knead until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a large bowl with plenty of room and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours in a warm, draft-free area, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator; the dough should be fine for up to 24 hours. Line a round cake pan or square brownie pan with parchment paper.
Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into 24 even pieces. You can either use a food scale or divide the dough in half three times and then into thirds (2 * 2 * 2 * 3 = 24). Working one a a time, roll out the dough into a flat circle about 3 inches in diameter. If you can, try to make the edges thinner than the middle, but it's not super critical.
Drop a heaping tablespoon of Thanksgiving leftovers into the middle of the dough. Bring the edges of the dough together and seal. Roll the ball a bit in your hands to reform a sphere.
Arrange the stuffed dough balls seam side-down in the prepared pan just so they touch each other. You may run out of room in the pan (I could only fit 19 balls, so I set the remaining in a smaller baking dish). Brush the top of the rolls with olive oil and let the dough proof again until they are almost doubled, about another hour or so. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the rolls for about 25-35 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and any leftover cranberry sauce and/or gravy.