the boy's favorite yeasty rolls (or T-Day minus 2)

way back when, we had a bread machine. like all new bread machine owners, you get all excited to make bread all the damn time, because you can. eventually i stopped using it to bake in, and only used it for kneading. and eventually i stopped using it for kneading when i got a kitchen aid mixer. and sometimes i don't even use that because i discovered that i really enjoyed kneading dough by hand, which is why i like making fresh pasta. but that's another story.

we gave the machine away a few years back, but i still occasionally find a bread machine recipe i printed out from the web tucked away into a book (like the tomato garlic bread, and the jalapeno cheese bread - i don't remember either one of these being terribly successful). one of the recipes that was successful, however, was one i think we found on, for a good yeasty dinner roll. i adapted the recipe for non-machine use, and it's made an appearance at our thanksgiving table for at least the last six years.

this makes 12 rolls. they don't keep terribly well (they're okay the next day, but after that they're rather stale). but they're terrific the day of. just remember that they need to rest for a few minutes when they come out of the oven.

The boy’s favorite yeasty rolls

for the dough:
3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup dry milk powder
1 cup warm tap water
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon active dry yeast or one package of yeast

for the glaze:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water

Put all of the dough ingredients in your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes; you may need to add a sprinkling more of flour or a drop of water in order to get the dough to scrape up the bits from the bottom and form a smooth ball. You’ll know when the dough is ready when it is elastic and smooth-looking, and not too sticky. Remove dough from work bowl; knead by hand for a second or two and form into a ball. Place dough into a large oiled bowl, and turn to coat with oil. cover with plastic wrap and set in an out of the way non-drafty area for one hour (or until doubled in size). Alternatively, if you’re making this the night before, put covered oiled dough bowl into the fridge to retard overnight. Take it out of the fridge to bring to room temperature before proceeding to next step.

After it’s doubled in size, punch it down lightly and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bash-n-chop/bench scraper/sharp knife, divide the dough into twelve equal pieces and form each piece into a nice round. Place rounds onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Set these out of the way until doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

When ready to bake, beat the egg white with the water. Remove the kitchen towels and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash.

Bake for 15ish minutes until the tops of the rolls are golden.

Remove the rolls from the oven, put each roll face up on a rack and let stand for at least 15 to 20 minutes before eating.


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