Do I go for store-bought dinner rolls this year, or make the effort to bake my own dinner rolls?
The mad holiday dash is right on our doorsteps, making now the time to get serious with your menu planning. Assuming it’s fallen with you to do the cooking yet again (lucky you!), you’ll be dusting off your old recipes and doing the usual inventory management.
At some point, you’ll face the same dilemma as millions of other households:
Do I go for store-bought dinner rolls this year, or make the effort to bake my own?
Frankly, it’s not really an option in my home. If I produce a batch of store-bought dinner rolls at this time of year, I’d be exiled. Disowned. Disgraced for all eternity.
All of which is actually quite the compliment, as my dinner rolls tend to be the hit of the whole shebang. Fresh from the oven, fluffy as can be and drenched in butter, they’re epic…period.
But what I can say for sure is that it wasn’t always this way. I had to experiment with dozens of different recipes before nailing it with this one formula. Mostly due to the fact that unlike most, I prefer baking dinner rolls with no yeast.
Why Dinner Rolls with No Yeast?
Let’s not beat around the bush here – yeast gives you gas. Sure, it’s packed with a huge dose of iron and B vitamins, but it can also leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
There are ways to slow-proof dough over the course of two or even three days to combat this particular problem. But let’s face it – who has two or three days to dedicate to baking a batch of dinner rolls over the holiday season?
Not me – I’ve better things to do!
So, having experimented with a variety of ‘dinner rolls no yeast’ recipes, I found most to be uninspiring at best. As it turned out, I (and whoever I was ‘borrowing’ my recipes from) was totally over-complicating things.
Keeping things simple apparently holds the key to baking the most delicious dinner rolls ever, with no yeast necessary.
No Yeast Dinner Rolls
- Mixing bowl
- Baking pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup whole milk
- In a large mixing bowl stir in the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar and whole milk.
- With the help of your hands knead the dough from all the ingredients and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Form small rolls out of the dough and arrange them in a baking pie pan brushed with butter.
- Bake in an already heated oven at 350°F or 180°C degrees for about 25 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
How to Avoid Dinner Rolls Disaster
What’s great about leaving yeast out of the mix is how it actually makes the whole process much easier. I’m no expert, but I’ve found it completely impossible to go wrong with this fast and easy formula.
Prior to which, I was no stranger to baking blunders with yeast included in the mix.
Over the course of my various trials and errors, I also learned a handful of other important lessons. Specifically, the mistakes I was making that were severely compromising the result.
Whether you go with this super-simple recipe or freestyle with your own tweaks and additions, here’s how to avoid the most common dinner roll disasters:
1. If the Dinner Rolls Dough Doesn’t Rise
First up, dough that doesn’t rise is usually indicative of one of three things. The temperature of the dough and the surrounding space may be inappropriate, the texture of the dough isn’t right or you’re using an incorrect quantity of baking powder (or yeast). The science of baking bread calls for pinpoint precision where proofing dough is concerned, so avoid straying from the recipe with this aspect at least.
2. Where the Rolls Come Out Like Leather
The goal is to produce fluffy and cloud-like dinner rolls – not those that give you jaw-ache. Rolls that come out like leather are usually attributed to either using the wrong kind of flour or too much flour. Likewise, getting carried away when mixing the ingredients together can also result in a tough roll. Kneading dough is a careful balancing act – not too much, not too little. Chances are that if your rolls are coming out tough, you could be over working it.
3. When the Rolls Look Dry, Pale and Unappealing
This is by far the easiest issue to turn around, and can be a fairly forgiving process. When dinner rolls come out looking dry and pale, generally indicates you didn’t treat them to enough egg wash. A liberal dose of egg wash prior to baking is essential for that glorious golden brown exterior. Either way, you can (and definitely should) treat your rolls to a luxurious brushing of melted butter or olive oil, right before serving. Not just delicious, but a great way of covering up any errors you made along the way.
4. When You Don’t Have Enough to Go Around
Last but not least, the only thing worse than disappointing dinner rolls is not having enough of them to satisfy everyone’s appetite. This is where forward planning can help, while at the same time saving you a ton of time and effort. Always be mindful of the fact that dinner rolls – both in the form of cooked rolls and raw dough – freeze fantastically well. You can either freeze the dough or freeze a bunch of rolls and pop them in the oven for a few minutes after thawing them. It’s always better to have more than you need than to risk disgruntled guests!
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