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Soft White Dinner Rolls With Hard Crust

Asked by Sashars. Answered on 25th March 2015

Full question

Have tried the Soft White Dinner Rolls for the second time. I seem to follow the recipe exactly but the rolls are crusty and not soft and they don't seem to be brown on the top but stay white! The base gets hard and brown. Can you help? Baking temperature is as mentioned 220 degrees centigrade.

Our answer

Nigella's Soft White Dinner Rolls (from Feast and on the Nigella website) are small rolls that are baked in a batch. Batch baked rolls should be touching each other when they go into the oven so that the sides join up on baking and this gives them a softer crust on the sides. When the rolls have been shaped place them on a greased baking sheet very slightly apart (about 1/2 cm/1/4 inch) so that as they prove they expand and start to touch. It could also be that when the rolls are proving they are drying out a little on the surface so it may help to cover the rolls with a lightly damp tea towel.

As the rolls are glazed with beaten egg they should turn a golden brown colour, particularly given the oven temperature. Make sure it is a whole egg as a glaze of only egg white will give them a hard and paler crust. All ovens can vary so you may prefer to turn your oven down to 200c/400F and bake the rolls for slightly (about 5 minutes) longer.

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