Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Brown and Serve Dinner Rolls

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 22 min (plus up to 3 months freezing time)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 14 rolls
Before you begin, gather ingredients and equipment. Measure out ingredients.



Special equipment:
Stand mixer with paddle and dough attachments Instant-read thermometer Pastry brush Scale Tablespoon measure Teaspoon measure 1/2-teaspoon measure Plastic wrap 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan Bench knife Cooling rack Freezer zip-top bag Timer Sheet pan Parchment Hot pad or kitchen towel
  1. Combine the flour, milk, sugar, egg yolks, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Install the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 5 minutes then rest the dough for 15 minutes. Switch out the paddle for the dough hook.
  2. Add 2 ounces of the softened butter. Set mixer to low speed for 30 seconds then slowly increase to medium and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 8 minutes. (At this point you should be able to pinch off a small piece of dough and work it into a thin sheet you can almost see through without tearing.)
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll and shape with your hands to form a smooth ball. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and stash in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, set the oven to 275 degrees F and place a rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and use a bench knife to cut the dough into 2-ounce portions. You should have 14 portions. Roll each portion on the counter until it tightens into a small round. Place in the greased pan, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm, dry place to rise until the rolls have doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Melt the remaining 2 ounces of butter and gently brush the tops of the risen rolls with the butter. Bake until the rolls are set and reach an internal temperature of 185 to 190 degrees F, about 25 minutes. They should still be fairly pale on top.
  7. Cool the rolls, still in the pan, on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. De-pan the rolls, keeping them right-side up, and cool to room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes. Wrap rolls tightly in plastic wrap, then seal in a freezer zip-top bag. Freeze up to 3 months.
  8. When ready to bake, remove rolls from bag and park at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. When ready, move the rolls to a parchment-lined sheet pan or cookie sheet and bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the rolls are deeply browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Wrap loosely in a clean tea towel to hold for service.