I wanted to make delicious dinner rolls for Thanksgiving, but wanted a recipe that would work within the tight oven schedule of Thanksgiving day. So for this special dinner I combined recipes and techniques from a few different breads that I have made in the past (see here, here and here). I included a biga for great depth of flavor; which I started on Monday night. On Tuesday night, I made a wet dough so that I wouldn’t have to knead it by hand, since my KitchenAid mixer broke a few years ago (see “Autolyse”). After a few hours rising, I refrigerated the dough to stop the yeast from rising. When dealing with a wet doughs they are much easier to handle when chilled. Because dinner rolls take a bit of handling, the 36-hours in the refrigerator made the shaping process easy. Overall, the rolls were delicious. However, the subtitles added by the biga are largely overpowered by the small amount of rye and wheat flour. 4-stars.
Because I was pulling this recipe from a lot of different places, I tested out the recipe a week prior to Thanksgiving. But the rolls were too small; perhaps because of beer, which I have noticed tends to retard rising. I abandon that recipe, and came up the this recipe to solve the problems that I had encountered.
- Yay! I finally ordered a new KitchenAid standing mixer. It had gone on sale for $225 at Target.com. The difference between their Professional and Artisan series is the steel gears of the professional series are more durable when making a lot of dough.
- My test batch of dinner rolls from last week also reminded me how quickly they became hard; within just a few hours. Unless you are going to eat them right away, you must keep them wrapped in plastic.
- If using a separate container for rising, do not attempt to do the mixing and rising directly in the same container. It is impossible to properly mix the dough anyplace other than a regular bowl.
- The recipe yielded too much dough, so next time I will cut down on the recipe by about 15%.
Cost: $1.25 for 16 rolls.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess? Low/Medium.
Started: 10:30AM pm Ready: 12:00.
1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1/2 cup water (4 ounces)
- Make the biga the night before baking the bread; combine flour, yeast, and water in medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir for 1 minute until the mix appears uniform.
- Use plastic wrap to cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature. If you kitchen is much below 70-degrees, then you can use a slightly warmed oven (but turned off) which will ensure there is sufficient warmth.
2-cups water, preferably non-chlorinated spring water.
1 tablespoon granulated yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1-ounce rye flour
1-ounce whole wheat flour
3-1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Preheat 2-cups water to 100-degrees; about 45 seconds in the microwave. Add yeast and kosher salt to warm water, allowing it to hydrate while measuring out the flours.
- Add biga to a large bowl. Place bowl on a kitchen scale and zero out; you want to add a total of 22-3/4 ounces of flour. Add rye and whole wheat flour. Add all-purpose for a total of 22-3/4 ounces. Mix until combined, but without kneading. Empty the dough into a 4-quart container and let sit at room temperature until it has almost doubled in size; between 2 to 4 hours. Put container in refrigerator until ready to use. The dough is very wet, so allowing it to cool completely will make it easier to work with.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle evenly with a very thin coat of flour.
- Carefully remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half with a bench scrape or chef’s knife and carefully stretch each piece into a 24”-long cylinder. Cut each cylinder into quarters; then cut each piece into two (yielding a total of 16 evenly-sized pieces).
- If you slightly squished the cylinder as you made each cut, restore its roundness. Put 8 pieces of dough in each cake pan with the cut-side up; placing one piece of dough in the center and the other seven pieces like the spokes of a wheel.
- Set an oven rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 500-degrees. Cover pans with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes until they have double in size. You can also test it because the dough will spring back if you gently press with your finger.
- Discard plastic wrap and lightly spray the rolls with water. Bake for 10 minutes until the rolls are brown. Turn the oven down to 400-degrees. Remove rolls and turn them out onto a rimmed baking sheet. After 5 or 10 minutes the rolls will have cool enough to handle, pull them apart and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400-degrees for 10 to 15 minutes; rotating the pan half-way through baking. They should have a deeply golden crust, and sound hollow if you tap their bottoms.
- Allow to cook on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.