My favourite part of the classic dinner roll is that thin wedge of soft bread that doesn’t exactly belong to the roll I’m eating, but not quite to the one I’ve torn it away from either. It’s always softer and doughier than the rest of the roll, and I peel it off the edge of the bun and pop it into my mouth. And, quite frankly, if that little wedge favoured the roll that remained in the pan rather than the one I hold in my hand, I’ll glance to my left and to my right, and swiftly remove it from the Roll That Wasn’t Mine and eat it anyway, hoping no one will notice.
Once that wee amuse has been savoured, I press a slick of room-temperature butter into the loosely woven pockets of bread dough before sluicing the roll through a swath of gravy, or dipping it fingertip-deep into hot homemade soup, hoping that the butter might melt into the warm liquid just slightly, creating a pool of salty fat to scoop with a spoon or smear with a fork.
I really like a good bun.
You’ll hope that these rolls will last a day or two so that you can try a few warm and fresh out of the oven, topped with just butter, but then also have a few left over for sandwiches and snacking while standing in the pantry thinking about your day. Or avoiding it. I piled mine with hummus, roasted red peppers, garlic, and feta cheese for lunch and wished I still had some homemade Nutella to smear on them for dessert. Because white bread and Nutella.
They’re easy to make; pretty quick too, as bread goes. Worth trying, even in the face of a fear of yeasted doughs or kneading or eating an entire pan before they cool.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 packages traditional yeast
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast. Allow the yeast to proof until it becomes foamy - about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients, kneading as you add in the final cups of flour, until you have a smooth dough.
- Cover the bowl of dough and refrigerate for two hours.
- Grease a baking pan - I used two nine-inch cake pans, but you can use whatever you have around the house.
- Divide the dough up into small pieces, size dependent on how large you want to make your buns. Remember, they will rise rather significantly, so a smallish ball of dough will yield a good-sized bun. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball.
- Place the balls of dough next to each other in the prepared baking dish.
- Cover and allow to rise for one hour, or until the buns have approximately doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Bake the buns for about 17 minutes, or until golden brown.