Homemade rolls tend to be hard, crusty and large, and can kill your appetite. If you’re ready for something different in the dinner roll department, soft and small pillow rolls are a worthy adventure.
Homemade rolls tend to be hard, crusty and large, and can kill your appetite.
If you’re ready for something different in the dinner roll department, soft and small pillow rolls are a worthy adventure. These are fluffy, very soft rolls formed from little balls. You can butter and eat more than one without being filled. And they’re best warm.
There are keys to this deliciousness. They have twice the amount of yeast of hard rolls. They are milk-and-butter rich. They take time for a double full rising.
How to make
The recipe is perfectly adjustable for the quantity you need. It makes from two dozen to three dozen depending on size.
The amount of flour here is a guess. Your goal is a soft, elastic, workable dough that does not stick to the bowl. This may take seven cups of flour or up to eight and a half, depending on your flour and the humidity of your kitchen. Start with seven cups, mix a few minutes and add more if needed.
I use a 1.5-inch ice cream scoop with a release handle, sprayed with nonstick oil, to form balls exactly the same size. This will make about three dozen rolls.
This dough is delicate and prone to overbaking. Parchment paper comes to the rescue. This is great stuff to prevent sticking and overly browned bottoms. Line your largest cookie sheet with it.
One of the reasons these rolls are so soft is they bake together. Space them about a quarter-inch apart on all sides. They will form a sheet as they rise.
All rolls are best presented warmed and in a basket covered with a kitchen towel or baking cloth. Pillow rolls travel well to a dinner and reheat in 15 seconds in a microwave, covered with a paper towel.
Reason for serving
The purpose of dinner rolls is to provide a change of pace between courses.
Bread is a good palate cleanser, preparing you for a new round of flavors and textures. Dinner rolls should not be large and filling, or they can spoil appetites.
Figure three hours from start to finish on these guys. Keep a close eye on the oven as they bake. They should be lightly browned. Then cool on a rack and pull them apart for your basket. Save some in sheet form for later.
PILLOW DINNER ROLLS
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
7 cups or more all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water (about 110 degrees). Whisk in remaining ingredients except for the flour. Stir in enough flour and knead to make a soft, elastic dough that does not stick to the bowl.
Place an oiled sheet of wax paper on the top of the dough. Cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place, about an hour.
Punch down and place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead about five minutes or until smooth. Cut dough balls, 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. Form then in your hands. Place a ¼ inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with the oiled wax paper and towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops brown. Cool sheet on wire rack, then tear apart rolls. Rolls may be reheated in a microwave at 15 seconds on high, covered with a paper towel.
Yields 24 large or 36 small rolls.
The Repository (Canton, Ohio)