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Soft White Dinner Rolls

by . Featured in FEAST
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Introduction

It may seem a crackpot idea to suggest you make fresh white bread rolls for your children's supper, but give me a moment. Please. Children absolutely adore making them, although the results often don't turn out to be bread rolls, but rather floury lumps and shapes covered in peanut butter, Marmite, sprinkles and more flour as they, in turn, will be covered themselves.

Besides, if you do make them, you will find it astonishingly relaxing and gratifying, and your children will - unaccountably - thank you. Mine love them spread thickly with melting butter, and I can't say I blame them.

It may seem a crackpot idea to suggest you make fresh white bread rolls for your children's supper, but give me a moment. Please. Children absolutely adore making them, although the results often don't turn out to be bread rolls, but rather floury lumps and shapes covered in peanut butter, Marmite, sprinkles and more flour as they, in turn, will be covered themselves.

Besides, if you do make them, you will find it astonishingly relaxing and gratifying, and your children will - unaccountably - thank you. Mine love them spread thickly with melting butter, and I can't say I blame them.

Soft White Dinner Rolls
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Makes: 30

Metric Cups

For the Dough

  • approx. 600 grams plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons rapid rise yeast or bread machine or other instant yeast
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 375 millilitres milk
  • 25 grams butter

For the Toppings

  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

For the Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons rapid rise yeast or bread machine or other instant yeast
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the Toppings

  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Method

  1. Combing 500g / 3½ cups of the flour with the instant yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Put the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat until the milk is warm, and the butter is beginning to melt.
  3. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon to make a rough dough, adding more of the remaining flour if the dough is too wet. Then either using your hands or the dough hook on an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky.
  4. Put the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover the top with clingfilm, then leave in a warm place (I always sit a bowl of yeasted dough on a pile of newspapers) to rise for an hour by which time it should be double the size. Punch the air out of the dough with your fist and then turn it out on to a floured surface.
  5. Pull pieces of dough the size of walnuts off the dough and form them into small round rolls, like ping pong balls, placing them as you go on to a greased or lined baking sheet. The balls of dough should be about 5mm / ¼ inch apart so that once they have sat to prove they will be just about touching. I get 30 balls of dough, and I arrange them in six lines of five.
  6. Cover them with a tea-towel and leave to rise again in a warm place for about half an hour, preheating the oven to gas mark 7/220°C/425ºF, while they sit. When the buns have puffed up, beat together the egg, milk and a pinch of salt and paint them with the glaze. Scatter alternate lines of buns with sesame and poppy seeds, leaving plain rows in between. (A teaspoon of seeds should decorate two rows.) That's to say, a row of poppy-topped, then a row of sesame-topped, then one row of plain and then repeat again.
  7. Bake the buns for 15 minutes by which time they should be golden brown and joined together in a little batch. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately.
  8. When I make these for adults I put them on the table and let people tear them off as they go. When I'm making them for a roomful of children, I wouldn't be as mad; the feeding frenzy is bad enough as it is, so just tear them off and hand a few round to them on a plate.
  1. Combing 500g / 3½ cups of the flour with the instant yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Put the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat until the milk is warm, and the butter is beginning to melt.
  3. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon to make a rough dough, adding more of the remaining flour if the dough is too wet. Then either using your hands or the dough hook on an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky.
  4. Put the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover the top with clingfilm, then leave in a warm place (I always sit a bowl of yeasted dough on a pile of newspapers) to rise for an hour by which time it should be double the size. Punch the air out of the dough with your fist and then turn it out on to a floured surface.
  5. Pull pieces of dough the size of walnuts off the dough and form them into small round rolls, like ping pong balls, placing them as you go on to a greased or lined baking sheet. The balls of dough should be about 5mm / ¼ inch apart so that once they have sat to prove they will be just about touching. I get 30 balls of dough, and I arrange them in six lines of five.
  6. Cover them with a tea-towel and leave to rise again in a warm place for about half an hour, preheating the oven to gas mark 7/220°C/425ºF, while they sit. When the buns have puffed up, beat together the egg, milk and a pinch of salt and paint them with the glaze. Scatter alternate lines of buns with sesame and poppy seeds, leaving plain rows in between. (A teaspoon of seeds should decorate two rows.) That's to say, a row of poppy-topped, then a row of sesame-topped, then one row of plain and then repeat again.
  7. Bake the buns for 15 minutes by which time they should be golden brown and joined together in a little batch. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately.
  8. When I make these for adults I put them on the table and let people tear them off as they go. When I'm making them for a roomful of children, I wouldn't be as mad; the feeding frenzy is bad enough as it is, so just tear them off and hand a few round to them on a plate.

Tell us what you think

What 12 Others have said

  • I've made these rolls several times before, but when I was out of milk, I used ayran (Turkish yogurt drink) and they came out super fluffy and more delicious than ever before. I don't need egg or milk on top either. The ayran makes the rolls evenly brown and smooth. I live in Turkey and these are a favorite

    Posted by Rabiya333 on 29th April 2016
  • This are the simplest and tastiest dinner rolls that I have tried so far...they were a winner the moment they were out of oven and got finished in no time...making them again today....

    Posted by Monicatekchandan1 on 20th November 2015
  • What a very easy and so tasty recipe, I just made some yesterday and now have more cooking, kids absolutely loved them.

    Posted by on 8th March 2015
  • This is a great recipe!!! I made them for my kids and they just love them!!! They said there were the best rolls I have ever made!!! And I baked to take to a super bowl party with some salads and my friends were very pleased, they enjoy them very much!!!

    Posted by miriamdv on 11th February 2015
  • Have just made these while on holiday in Barbados as we don't seem to have a bread shop near us, and we found the pre-packed sliced loaves very doughy. This fab recipe worked a treat (even though we didn't have any scales, so it was just down to a measuring jug and guesswork!) and I now have 24 gorgeous little rolls sitting on the work top. I'm sure they will soon disappear .

    Posted by greenfingeredcook on 7th January 2015
  • Turned out beautifully, I also used 50/50 plain and wholemeal flour. We put cheese and bacon on the top, yum!

    Posted by N1cole on 19th January 2014
  • Did these for a dish to pass at a soup supper and for a bake sale last week. They were snapped up at both.

    Posted by watts459 on 29th March 2013
  • I did a batch of white and whole wheat today for the garden club soup dinner. Everyone liked them and several people asked for the recipe. I did 32 of each with 8 poppy, sesame, plain, and shredded cheddar that I added the last 5 minutes. Doing them again Saturday for the library bake sale.

    Posted by watts459 on 22nd March 2013
  • I see no reason why one would want to keep these for dinner only! They're an absolute delight throughout the entire day. I always make a batch or two each weekend!

    Posted by Jens Gotfredsen on 22nd March 2013
  • This will be a firm favourite,I used half wholemeal flour and half white and the rolls were still lovely and soft,great recipe.

    Posted by Jansue on 23rd November 2012
  • Made these with half white flour and half wholemeal which works really well, great recipe which I am sure will be a family favourite.

    Posted by Jansue on 22nd November 2012
  • hi, i tried this recipi. it was great. my children enjoed it verymuch.thanx

    Posted by niru77 on 5th November 2012
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