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Dinner Rolls

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Makes 12.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from friend’s recipe.

This recipe has one odd distinction: The first step is to boil some of the flour in milk and water to make a paste. How this contributes to the finished dinner rolls I cannot say. I’m not a scientist. I can say that these rolls are tender and delicious. They would make an excellent addition to any holiday feast.


For the starter:
4½ tablespoons whole milk
4½ tablespoons water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the dough:
3¾ cups (530g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dry (powdered) milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon active dry or instant yeast
¾ cup (175ml) whole milk, warmed slightly (100°F/38°C)
2 large eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1½ teaspoon salt
For the egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon whole milk


1. In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the three starter ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine about half the flour with the milk powder, sugar, and yeast. Mix to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together the starter, warmed milk, eggs, and melted butter. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and blend to make a batter. With mixer speed on low and the dough hook attached, add the salt and add the remaining flour a little at a time until a dough forms. Knead 15-20 minutes. The dough should be moist and slightly sticky. During the kneading process a little liquid or flour can be added to get the correct consistency. I look to see the dough pulling away from the sides of the bowl but sticking in the bottom.

3. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location for 60 to 90 minutes or until the dough is doubled in bulk.

4. Gently deflate the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball.

5. Arrange the rolls in a lightly buttered 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) baking pan (or quarter sheet). Cover lightly with plastic wrap let rise for 40 to 50 minutes, or until puffy.

6. Heat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a small bowl whisk together the egg and milk to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top (a digital thermometer inserted into the center of a roll should reach 195°F / 90°C).

7. Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before pulling apart and serving.