Crusty Dinner Rolls

December 13, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes 12
Author Notes

Here is a straightforward yet yummy recipe for those of us who are frightened by bread hooks and fail to see why yeast needs to prove itself. Many bread recipes call for 6 1/2 to 7 cups of flour, which is a bit overwhelming - this recipe, which I adapted from one on the side of a bag of flour several years back, is much more manageable. - wssmom —wssmom

Test Kitchen Notes

These dinner rolls have a tasty chew on the inside with a beautiful, golden brown crust. The dough is very easy to work with; I made them without the use of a dough hook or beaters of any kind. Originally made for Food52 testing and then to enjoy, they were so tasty, quick and easy, that I made them two more times; a batch the next morning, just a few hours before taking them to a dinner party. The first two times they were baked in a 9 x 13 pan instead of on a baking sheet, resulting in beautiful pull-apart rolls. Finally, the third time, I let the dough rise an hour before kneading, shaping into egg sized spindles and then baking freeform on a flat baking sheet…those rolls were great for a French dip! I had tremendous success making these rolls and received rave reviews from everyone who ate them. I will definitely make them again. —lapadia

What You'll Need
  • 1 envelope active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm (100-110 degree) water
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt; less if using regular salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  1. In a large bowl, sprinke yeast over the top of the warm water; let sit for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add to the yeast one cup flour, salt, honey, shortening, and water; using a hand mixer, beat two minutes at medium speed.
  3. Add about a half-cup flour and stir with a spoon to make a soft dough; add up to another half-cup flour and stir until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. (If you have a heavy-duty mixer, go ahead and use it; mine begins to whine in protest at this point)
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and begin to knead, adding flour as you go to keep dough from getting sticky. After about 10 minutes, the dough should be pretty elastic but not totally smooth. Cover and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 more or less equal pieces; roll into vaguely egg-shaped balls. Place on a greased baking sheet, flatten slightly, cover, and let rise in a warm part of the kitchen until they're all puffed up, about an hour.
  6. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring all the while, until thick and clear, about two minutes.
  7. Brush tops of rolls with the cornstarch mixture. Using a sharp serrated knife, make a half-inch deep slash lengthwise across the top of each rolls. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Slather with butter, and enjoy!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • wssmom
  • Alfreda A. May
    Alfreda A. May
  • Sujatha

9 Reviews

Alfreda A. April 14, 2021
I baked them last night in my Emile Henry Crown Baker. My husband and son loved the rolls. I will make them again,
Sujatha December 1, 2013
Wondered what I did wrong when making this recipe -- followed recipe mostly but had to rise the dough twice b/c it rose too fast the first time (before i was ready to bake). Anyway, they turned out like dry hockeypucks.
lapadia December 1, 2013
Hi Sujatha, I tested these rolls for CP and made have them a few times after w/o problems. It’s hard to tell what happened however you noted the recipe was “followed mostly.” Because of that I initially wondered about your salt usage; salt regulates the growth of the yeast, skimping on what a recipe asks for causes the yeast to grow differently and you may end with a flop. If you are good to go with your salt, then disregard this thought. Anyway, would love to hear the follow up on others’ ideas :).
frappe3 June 17, 2012
I want to make these for a large party (70 guests) to hold beef tenderloin, so I need to make smaller rolls. How does the baking time change if I make rolls that are half as large? If I want to make these ahead, is it best to keep the dough overnight in the fridge, to shape and freeze the dough, or to freeze and rewarm the fully cooked rolls? Thanks for your help.
lapadia June 18, 2012
Hi frappe3, I am not this recipe's originator, but having tested them once for community pick and a few other times after, I would say to split them in half and bake as usual, however, I would start checking around 20 minutes. I made them ahead once, baked them the night before, traveled with them - 3 hours the next day and they were on the dinner table about 2 hours later and were fine. Other than that I would go with keeping the dough in the fridge overnight, allow at least 1 hour to let the dough get back to room temp before shaping and baking. WOW, 70 guests...have a fun time, good luck :)
Bob Y. December 23, 2010
Greetings: What would the approx timings be for the mixing and the kneading of these lovely rolls if one did these in a powerful stand mixer? Thanks in advance.
wssmom December 24, 2010
I would follow the normal procedure for a standard bread dough recipe ....
lapadia December 23, 2010
Hi! Congrats on your Editors' Candate Pick, I signed up to test them, just finished and posted a picture above #2. Pleast see message left @ Your Best Dinner Rolls, Editors' Canidate Picks. Cheers!
wssmom December 24, 2010
Wow, thanks so much!