These classic dinner rolls are easier to make than you think, especially if you have a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. This version streamlines the process even more and has you baking the folded rolls in a pan, with each roll touching each other. The result is a great “pull apart” style dinner roll that has a high buttery inner fluff to low outer crust ratio.
Course Side Dish
Keyword bread, dinner roll, thanksgiving, yeast
Prep Time 15 minutesminutes
Cook Time 30 minutesminutes
Rest Time 2 hourshours
1 1/4cupswhole milk
2 1/4teaspoonsactive dry yeast1 package or 7 g
1/4cupvegetable shortening45 g (or unsalted butter, 57 g)
2tablespoonswhite granulated sugar
1 1/2teaspoonskosher salt
4cupsall-purpose flour560 g
4tablespoonsmelted unsalted butterdivided
1teaspoonflaky sea saltlike Maldon salt (optional but recommended)
Place the vegetable shortening (or butter) in a small microwaveable bowl and cook for 30 seconds. It’s fine if the shortening is only partially melted.
Place the milk in a medium sized sauce pan and heat up briefly on the stovetop, until it is warm to the touch, about 100° to 110° F if you have a thermometer. Add yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the partially melted shortening to the milk with the yeast, along with the sugar and salt. Mix with a fork, breaking up any large chunks of shortening that hasn’t melted. Beat in the egg.
Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the liquid, scraping any chunks of residual shortening into bowl.
Turn the mixer on slow and let the dry ingredients slowly absorb the liquid. Once the dough forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl, increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough for 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and supple.
Spray or grease a large bowl with cooking oil. Form a smooth dough ball and place the rough side of the ball down into the bowl, leaving the smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes, or until double in size.
Once the dough has risen, take some of the melted butter and brush the inside of a 9 x 13 baking pan until the entire pan and sides is covered.
Dump the dough onto a clean surface. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Cover three parts with the plastic wrap to keep them from drying out, and roll out the fourth dough into a rectangle, 12 x 6 inches, with a rolling pin.
Cut the rectangle into three long 12 x 2 inches strips lengthwise. Cut each strip across into thirds, creating 9 smaller rectangles, 4 x 2 inches in dimension.
Brush half of one of the rectangles with melted butter, then fold it over.
Place in the prepared baking pan, with the thicker folded end at the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the next dough rectangle, placing this one in the same orientation, overlapping slightly over the previous dough. Repeat with remaining folded dough, overlapping and creating a “shingle” row of dough, all the way up the pan.
Repeat with the remaining three dough rounds. With the leftover melted butter, brush the top of the dough all over.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap. At this point you can refrigerate the pan overnight. Before baking, take the pan out of the refrigerate 90 minutes ahead of time and let it sit on the counter at room temperature. If you do not refrigerate it, let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
While the dough is doing the second rise, preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the dough has risen (it will not double but it will look more puffy) bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top of the rolls is golden brown.
Once the rolls are out of the oven, while it is still warm, brush the top of the rolls with melted butter and immediately sprinkle with the finishing salt. The warm melted butter will help the salt to stick. If you find the butter is absorbing too fast for the salt to stick, just brush a few of the rolls and immediately sprinkle the salt before brushing butter over more rolls.