Basic Dinner-Roll Dough

Total Time:
2 hr 45 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
2 hr 30 min

Yield:
2 1/4 pounds dough
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 -ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Mix-ins (herbs, spices, cheese, etc.; see recipes)
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for the bowl
Directions
  • Warm the milk and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan or in the microwave until very warm (110 degrees F). Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook; mix in the sugar, yeast and 1 cup flour until combined but still lumpy. Let stand until the mixture is very bubbly, about 30 minutes.

  • Add the butter, salt and 2 cups flour; mix on medium speed until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs until combined, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl as needed. Add 1 1/4 cups flour and the mix-ins, if using; mix until the dough is smooth and starts to gather into a loose ball, about 4 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky; if it's too wet, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour.

  • Lightly oil a large bowl; scrape the dough into the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

  • Photograph by Ryan Liebe

You can freeze the finished rolls for up to a month. Before serving, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, then reheat in a 375 degrees F oven for 10 minutes.

Yeast Tips

Check the label: Make sure you use the type of yeast in the recipe. Active dry yeast is not interchangeable with rapid-rise or instant yeast.

Use a thermometer: Don't guess the heat of the liquid you're adding; take its temperature. It must be at least 110 degrees F to activate the yeast.

Watch your dough: Rising times can vary depending on the heat of your kitchen. Use the times as a guideline and follow visual cues for all the steps.


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