Soft Dinner Rolls are delicious buttered and make the perfect accompaniment for soups and stews. They also make great sandwiches and can even be used as hamburger buns. I just love their golden brown crust that's wonderfully chewy, while inside their texture is soft and oh so fluffy.
To make these Soft Dinner Rolls really flavorful, I like to add a Sponge. A Sponge is just a small amount of bread dough that is made the night before and stored at room temperature overnight so it has time to become nice and spongy. Next morning when you make your bread dough, you simply add the Sponge along with the other ingredients.
As far as ingredients go, we are using unbleached bread flour which has a higher protein content than All Purpose Flour. The bread flour gives the Rolls a nice chewy texture. For the yeast, I like to use SAF Red and SAF Gold instant yeast #ad. This type of yeast gives a good rise and it doesn't need to be proofed. However, if you want to substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast you need to increase the amount of yeast by about 20%. You also need to activate the yeast in warm water. To do this, remove about 1/4 cup (60 grams) water from the total amount called for in the recipe and heat it to lukewarm. Stir in the yeast. Let stand about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy. Dried milk powder is added to the dough as it enhances the color of the crust, adds flavor, and helps to keep the bread moist. For the salt I like to use kosher salt. There is also butter in this dough, and I like to use unsalted butter. And lastly, we need water. I like to use cold filtered water from the refrigerator. The temperature of the water is very important when making bread as it determines the temperature of the final dough, which affects the rate (time) of fermentation (proofing). The desired dough temperature (DDT) should be between 74-77 degrees F (23-25 degrees C).
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Article and Demonstration by Stephanie Jaworski
Photo and Videography by Rick Jaworski
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