Saturday, 21 November 2009

Double Duty Rolls

by Throwback at Trapper Creek

With holiday meals looming in the not so distant future, I thought it would be a good time to share my go-to, no-knead roll dough recipe. It's a basic yeast roll dough recipe that is refrigerated, and doesn't need too much attention. And that really fits the bill when you have multiple dishes to prepare and need to get as much prep work done as possible. Also, these rolls can be made ahead so that valuable oven space can be used to your advantage. I don't freeze baked goods but I think these rolls would lend themselves to freezing very well.

Another trick is to use this basic roll dough for dinner rolls, and dessert rolls. You can kill two birds with one stone, and impress your guests too. For this batch I divided the dough and made dinner rolls with pesto and pumpkin seeds, and breakfast rolls with cranberries and walnuts.

I am not going to say that this is the healthiest recipe - it contains white flour and sugar, but sometimes alleviating stress at the holidays trumps sticking to a Nourishing Traditions type diet at the big meal, and I think the ease of this dinner roll making method makes it a winner in that regard.

I live near Bob's Red Mill, but I still only make two trips out there per year. So I buy my yeast in bulk and freeze it. I always proof my yeast before starting any baking project, just so I know it is still active. Add a pinch of sugar to get the yeast working. If it doesn't foam, your yeast may too old, or your water temperature is too cold or too hot. Normally, I pay closer attention and don't let it run over!

This recipe calls for 3 large eggs, but my pullets are still laying medium size eggs, so I threw in a double yolker for good measure.

Beat eggs, add proofed yeast mixture and mix well.

Add half of the flour, melted butter, sugar and salt with remaining water, mix well, then add remaining half of flour to make soft dough.

This dough will remain sticky and wet looking - but remember it is a no-knead recipe, so no worries.

Set to rise in a warm place.

When dough has doubled in bulk, approximately 1 hour or so. Punch down, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours to allow for the dough to rest. The daytime is fine too, just make sure you give the dough adequate rest.

The next morning (or whenever you get back to it) punch down the dough and divide in half. On a floured board, roll out two approximately 8" x 15" rectangles. When I make both sweet and savory rolls, I do the sweet first, and follow with the savory. A little sweet residue mixed in with the savory isn't a big deal but pesto mixed in with sweet rolls isn't a pleasant surprise.

At this point you can be as creative as your pantry allows. Spread the oblongs with softened butter, sugar, dried fruit, spices and nuts. Roll up, starting with the long side, cut in 1" lengths with a very sharp knife.

Place cut side up in greased baking dish or muffin tins, let rise until double in size.

For the savory rolls, here again let your pantry be your guide. I used cilantro pesto from the freezer, and my Naked seed pumpkins seeds here.

Spread, roll, cut, cover and let rise.

When the rolls have risen to the desired size, bake. Glaze as desired, or not, and enjoy!


2 Tablespoons or 2 packages dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water

3 large eggs
5 cups unsifted all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
2 teaspoons salt

Additional ingredients: softened butter, sugar, dried fruit, pesto, nuts.

Set yeast to work in 1/4 cup warm water. Beat eggs, add dissolved yeast and mix well. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and alternating with remaining 1 cup warm water, mix. Mix in 1/2 cup melted butter, sugar, and salt. Mix until smooth. Beat in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise until double in bulk.

Punch dough down, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours to allow the dough to rest.

To form rolls, punch dough down and divide in half. On floured cloth roll each half into rectangles approximately 8 x 15 inches. Spread with softened butter, and additional fillings as if making cinnamon rolls. Roll up starting with long side, cut in 1-inch slices with a serrated or very sharp knife. Place slices in greased baking dish or muffin tin and let rise until double in bulk.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Glaze sweet rolls if desired, or brush savory rolls with melted butter, or not... .