Unmatchable dinner rolls

They are a must at my house for Sunday dinners. They are a staple during the holiday spread and the perfect accompaniment for the wintery soups and stews. They arrive in that irresistible basket of hot, buttery dinner rolls.

All you “knead” is the dough to create  plain or fancy irresistible hot-out-of-the-oven buttery buns. All shapes and varieties use the same basic dough recipe.

All you “knead” is the dough to create plain or fancy irresistible hot-out-of-the-oven buttery buns. All shapes and varieties use the same basic dough recipe.

They are a must at my house for Sunday dinners. They are a staple during the holiday spread and the perfect accompaniment for the wintery soups and stews. They arrive in that irresistible basket of hot, buttery dinner rolls.

Nothing beats the aroma of fresh baked buns wafting from the oven, and nothing pleases my family more than biting into a warm, light-as-air slathered with butter dinner roll.

Making buns at home is easy, enjoyable and inexpensive. I love dinner rolls recipe because it is one recipe that can yield so many different varieties of buns. There is probably no bread product that allows you to be more creative than the dinner rolls. You can make them plain or fancy with a multitude of shapes and toppings.

My approach to making buns at home is the same way as doing laundry. Sure, from start-to-finish it may take a while, but you spend very little time with the bread (or laundry) itself.

Though mixing and the kneading can be done by hand, I let my electric mixer do all the work. I add all the ingredients except the flour into bowl attach the dough hook and mix the ingredients together. Then gradually one cup at a time I pour in flour until the dough ball is formed.

Whether you choose to work your dough by hand or use mixer, you still need to work the dough for at least 10 minutes to allow the glutens to develop. Glutens are strands of protein which, when developed, become very elastic. This elastic gluten is what allows bread dough to stretch as it rises.

Once the dough has been well kneaded let it rise in a greased bowl. Cover the dough with a dampened dish cloth over the bowl for rising. Using a damp cloth keeps the dough from sticking to the fabric. Let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour.

Next comes the fun part when you can form the dough into whatever shape you want. If you want round rolls, cut the dough into smaller portions and form them into tight balls.

If you want an alternative to regular round rolls, try making knot, rosette, fan or crescent shaped rolls.

• Cloverleaf rolls — Take enough dough for one roll. Divide into three balls and place in muffin tin.

• Knot Shaped Rolls — To create knotted rolls, first divide the bread dough into several equal sized balls that are a little less than one cm in diameter. Roll the dough back and forth between your hands and the work surface to form a rope about 30 cm in length the width of your finger. Gently tie the rope of dough into a loose knot.

• Rosettes dinner buns — Creating a rosette involves one extra step from tying a knot in the dough. Just tuck the ends under the knot.

• Fan Rolls — Simply take your rounded dough and cut six slits using sharp scissors.

• Crescent Shaped — Take enough dough required for 8 buns. Roll dough out into a 30-cm circle, as you would for pizza. Spread with melted butter. Cut into eight wedges. Roll up, beginning at rounded edge. Place rolls, with seam underneath and ends pointing inward to make crescent shape.

Whatever shape you have chosen for your buns, place them in a greased pan and let rise again.

When the rolls are nearly ready to go into the oven, it’s time to add some finishing touches. For an attractive glaze, you can brush them with a simple egg wash. The wash will also anchor any topping you want to add.

Poppy seeds and sesame seeds probably spring to mind first but consider cumin, fennel and caraway seeds. A topping of grated cheese will melt and brown to a deliciously rich, crunchy crust. Parmesan, sharp cheddar and mozzarella are especially good.

If you wish to add herbs, garlic, citrus zest, or dried fruits to your dinner rolls, they should be mixed or kneaded into the dough; otherwise, they will burn in the oven if you put them on top of the rolls.

As some of you are reading this, you are thinking: “I am definitely going to try this during the weekend.” But making buns doesn’t have to be a weekend undertaking. With preparations the night before, fresh buns can easily grace your table during the rushed weekday dinners.

To bake the buns the next day, wrap pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate the shaped rolls overnight. At least half an hour before baking, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise. Bake as directed.

To freeze the dough, put the covered pan in the freezer until the rolls are frozen. Store frozen rolls in a heavy-duty re-sealable plastic bag. To defrost, place them on a tray dusted with flour and cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the fridge, leave at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before baking.

There is no secret or grandmotherly magic to create a buttery bun at home. “You just knead the dough”. So whether you are expecting company or feeding the family, bake a little goodness into your next meal. Bring on the dinner roll!

Dinner rolls (24 small buns)

(For whole wheat buns, you can substitute half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour)

3/4 cup milk, lukewarm ( can do this in microwave)

3/4 cup water, lukewarm

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

5 teaspoons Quick-Rise yeast

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup margarine, melted

Place all ingredients expect flour into a bowl. Mix. Gradually add flour until ball is formed. You can knead by hand or use a mixer. Shape the dough into rolls, and place on a baking sheet. Let rise again for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake rolls in a preheated 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) oven for 15 minutes, or until done.

Madhu Badoni is a Red Deer-based freelance food writer. She can be reached at madhubadoni@gmail.com. Watch for Madhu’s Masala-Mix blog on bprda.wpengine.com.

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta’s declining COVID-19 numbers are a positive sign for the province. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 634 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone down to 2,054 active cases

Seven central Alberta charities benefit from community foundation grants

Seven central Alberta charities have received grants from the Red Deer and… Continue reading

Red Deer Gun Show organizer, Harold Drok, is concerned $1 fee from each ticket sale will go to Westerner Park once shows can be restarted there. This new policy replaces parking fees which will be waived for future Westerner Park events. (Black Press file photo)
Event organizer concerned about Westerner Park’s new parking fee model

A show organizer is concerned this could impact proceeds

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Organizers of central Alberta anti-lockdown rodeo plead not guilty

Ty and Gail Northcott charged under the Public Health Act

(Black Press file photo.)
Road closures at both ends of Red Deer next week

Red Deer motorists should expect delays with road closures in the north… Continue reading

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Trudeau says he knew about investigation into general overseeing vaccines weeks ago

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he learned weeks ago that… Continue reading

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine and avoid quarantine on return if they meet some straightforward conditions, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirms.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Canadians can drive to U.S. for COVID-19 vax and avoid quarantine, Ottawa confirms

TORONTO — Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Quebec can modify part of the Canadian Constitution unilaterally: Trudeau

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Quebec can unilaterally modify part… Continue reading

In this Thursday, April 29, 2021, file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, West Germany. Canadian environmentalists are welcoming a report from the International Energy Agency that says new fossil fuel investment must end if the world is to meet its climate goals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Martin Meissner
Canadian environmentalists happy with International Energy Agency report

Environmentalists say a report from the International Energy Agency that concludes investment… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ceasefire needed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid loss of more civilians: PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is calling for a… Continue reading

A forest fire burns late into the evening northeast of Prince Albert, Sask., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Saskatchewan wildfire grows, forcing evacuations in the area to expand

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — Dry conditions and strong winds caused a large… Continue reading

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tam hopeful for summer even as Canada hits grim death milestone in COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA — Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says she expects… Continue reading

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

Most Read