Last Thanksgiving I made several batches of these amazing, soft rolls for our dinner. They were so delicious that as the first batch came out of the oven we “sampled” them so much that we did not have any left over for the next night and I just *had* to make more.
I love these rolls so much and tweeted their picture *a lot* last year, and this year, and my friends not-so-gently reminded me that I that did not share the recipe.
The genius thing about these rolls is how easy they are to make, especially if you have a stand mixer. If you have never made dough in your life you can easily make these rolls.
My mom has her glorious “Red Baron”, a glossy, fire engine red Kitchen Aid that does all but the dishes for you. You add all the ingredients into the bowl, turn it on and do other things for a few minutes (like the dishes). The dough gets turned out to rest in a bowl for an hour or so, then formed into the rolls and popped into two cake pans. After another rest (just long enough for a restorative glass of wine and feet up on the couch) into the oven they go. When they’re done they’re basted liberally with melted butter, and then comes the hard part – not eating them all before dinner time.
Given my current bout of weird food allergies these are one of the few things on the holiday table I will be able to eat (with a minor modification), so you know I will be buddying up to the basket of rolls this Thursday. And Friday. Heh.
Soft Rolls for Thanksgiving
3 1/2 cups all purpose
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 T potato flour or 1/4 cup instant potato flakes (or in my case, I am just using more regular flour)
3 T nonfat dry milk
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 2 more T melted for basting)
2/3 c water, warm
1/2 c milk, lukewarm (out of the fridge for an hour or s0)
Place everything (except the melted butter) into the bowl of the stand mixer and mix to make a dough, using the dough hook. Let the machine run for 7 minutes at medium speed. The dough should be pretty smooth at this point.
If you do not have a stand mixer, mix together everything with a spatula or wooden spoon until a rough dough is formed. Then knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface for about 7 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth and pretty much not sticky.
Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a ball and put in a bowl that has been well buttered. Cover the top with a little plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in a warm place ~ about an hour.
When the dough has doubled, deflate it by a gentle punch right to the midsection. Oooph! Divide it into 16 even pieces. I do this by rolling the douhg into a long log, then cutting it in half, and keep cutting each half until I have 16 pieces. Roll the balls in your hands until they are nice and round, or pull the sides down to the bottom of the ball and pinch, then roll gently.
Butter two 9″ round cake pans well and arrange eight balls of dough in each pan (see picture). Cover the pans loosely again with plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled again and nice and puffy, about an hour or so. If they don’t look like they are filling the pan let them rise another 20 minutes or so.
Bake at 350 F for 22 to 24 minutes, remove from the oven to a rack and brush the tops well with melted butter.
Try to contain yourself and not eat them all while hot, and I wish you the best of luck with this.
If you make the rolls earlier in the day during Thanksgiving, you can reheat them in the oven after you take out the turkey. Turn off the oven after you extract the bird and leave the door ajar, put in the pans of rolls in for about 10 minutes (set the timer!) and they will be beautifully warmed. I would even go as far as brushing the tops with more butter, because there can never be enough butter on Thanksgiving.
I think this recipe might have originated from the King Arthur website but cannot find it, so please forgive the lack of attribution.