Apparently, my sisters and I never remembered to get the recipe for my mother’s dinner rolls. When Jan asked for sliders for dinner, they would have been a good choice for the buns. Jan, however, has this thing against white bread, so I would have had to make them at least partly with whole wheat anyway. While I am making these as slider buns, they would also make very good dinner roles.
I found several recipes on-line, but none of them where quite what I was looking for. Finally, I chose two of them, one by Chef John and one from The Kitchen. I mixed and matched ingredients and techniques to make this one my own.
Both of these recipes call for using a mixer. While I have nothing against power tools, I prefer to make bread by hand. Bread is a labor of love and you need to feel the dough to know when it is ready.
Karl’s Rosemary Slider Buns / Dinner Rolls
1 tsp. active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup milk
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, separate uses
1 Tbs. honey
2 cups AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
½ cup all-purpose flour, as needed
1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a measuring cup. Set aside until the yeast begins to foam, about 10-15 minutes.
2. Put the milk, four tablespoons of butter and the honey in a small pot and warm it over a low heat. Heat until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.
Tip: Do not let the milk come to a boil or it will form a “skin” that will not mix into the flour completely.
3. Sift the flours and salt together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.
Tip: I re-sift the flour 4-5 times to get an even mixture.
4. Make a “well” in the flour and add the yeast mixture, honey, rosemary, and milk mixture.
5. Starting in the middle of the “well,” stir the flour into the wet ingredients, until most of the flour is incorporated.
Tip: It is not a problem if there is still some dry flour in the bowl
6. Lightly flour a bread board and turn out the dough on to the service.
Tip: I use a pastry marble, but any clean, smooth, stable surface will do. You do not want your Do not do this on grouted tile.
7. Work any dry flour into the bread as you are kneading. If the dough sticks to your hand add a bit more flour. Knead the dough for ten minutes, until a dimple pressed into the dough mostly springs back.
Tip: The dough should be firm, but still tacky.
8. Transfer dough to a clean bowl and cover it with a clean, damp, dish towel.
9. Put the dough in a warm place and let it rise spot until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
Tip: I turn the oven on for one minute and place the bowl on the lower oven rack. Do not forget to turn the oven off or you will ruin your dough!
10. Remove the dough and preheat oven to 375° F.
11. Spray Pam on a 8 x 12 inch casserole.
Tip: In a small rectangular pan the roles will expand against each other and form pull-apart slider rolls. If you use a larger, 9 x 13 inch, baking pan they will come out slightly larger and have more crust. If you separate the rolls completely, on an 11 x 17 inch lipped baking sheet they will expand into like hamburger buns. Which pan you used depends on which sized roll you are trying to make.
12. Lightly flour the bread board and turn the dough out onto it.
13. Gently press the dough down and use a knife or board scraper to divide it into 12 equal pieces.
Tip: For very small slider buns, divide the dough into 24 pieces and use a 9 x 13 inch pan.
14. Form each piece into a roll and place them in three rows of four in the pan.
Tip: Fold the cut edges of each piece into the middle of the dough. Pinch together and twist the edges. Turn the piece over and smooth the twisted bottom of the piece by gently rolling it around in a circle in your floured palm or on the bread board.
15. Melt the remaining butter in a small cup and brush it over the pieces of dough.
Tip: The butter keeps the top of the rolls from turning too hard and makes it easy to separate them after they are baked.
16. Cover the pan with a damp towel and let the rolls rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 20 to 30 minutes.
17. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
18. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.