These Perfectly Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls are spectacular both in flavor and texture. What could be better than a pillowy soft, chewy roll that gives little resistance when taking a bite? They taste just as delicious the next day. You can customize the amount for 15, 16, or 24 servings depending on your pan. This will be your go to recipe for a perfect addition to any meal.
I love serving bread at dinner time because it serves a purpose for me. First, we love bread so we include it with our meal – especially on special occasions. Second, it acts as a filler. I know that sounds horrible for me to say, but when you are serving a large group of people which I often tend to do, I need fillers. Finally, it completes the meal because they are pillowy soft, loaded with layers, and delicious.
The goal is a soft roll with light fluffy layers that would stay fresh at least the next day and not dry up. To achieve this, I needed a dough enhancer. Don’t fret, two key ingredients are all that you need to add to achieve this goal.
Ready? Ginger and either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Both are dough enhancers.
I found that ginger acts like a preservative. It also gives yeast a little boost producing a fluffy roll. To prove this, I made 2 batches of rolls – one with ginger and one without. I have to say I was surprised that the rolls made with ginger stayed softer longer. I even hid it for a few days and surprisingly, it was still soft. You won’t taste the ginger because only a 1/4 teaspoon is used.
Ginger can’t take all the glory, the other secret is to add an acid. Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar act as dough enhancers and produce a soft roll. I have used both with the same results and don’t worry, you won’t taste it.
The steps may seem long, but it’s really not a big deal. I’m just explaining the process. Once you make these, the next time will be a snap.
In a mixing bowl and add warm milk, sugar, ginger, yeast. Give it a stir. Let that sit for about 5 minutes while you are getting everything else ready.
If your eggs aren’t room temperature, place them in a bowl with warm water.
Measure oil in a measuring cup. Add some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar apple cider vinegar.
Grab your scale. Using a scale pretty much guarantees results because weighing is being consistent regardless of humidity. The scale removes any doubt. This recipe calls for a pound and a half of flour. Using 5 cups of flour should do the trick and without a scale this is how you go about it. Before measuring flour lighten it up by moving it around in the bag or container it’s stored in with your hand or a knife. Scoop up some flour until overflowing. Use the straight edge of a knife to scrape off the excess. Set aside.
Add about half of the flour mixture into the bowl with the yeast mixture. This is light enough to mix with a spoon or a dough whisk or start your stand mixer and mix for about 2 minutes on medium high speed until smooth. It will be like a batter. I keep the dough hook on for this.
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Crack the eggs into the measuring cup with the oil and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and beat until just mixed.
Add the egg mixture to the mixing bowl along with the softened butter and continue to knead on medium high for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Good time to switch to stand mixer.
Add the remaining flour into the bowl and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but come away clean from the bowl. If you notice the dough climbing up the hook, stop mixer and slide it down into bowl then continue.
If kneading by hand try not to add any more flour as it will make the dough tough. Use a dough scraper to help you along. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough may be sticky and that’s okay. Don’t add anymore flour or you will have hockey pucks.
You know when you have kneaded long enough by grabbing a small piece of dough and stretching it out with both hands creating a “window”. Actually, it’s called a gluten window. Check out the photo to see what I mean. Lovely view, isn’t it?
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Transfer dough onto counter and knead it just to get the feel. Use a scraper if it sticks, but don’t add anymore flour. I have granite counters and don’t find the need to use flour for this last kneading. You can also just hold the dough in your hands and fold it onto itself a few times without setting it down. Place the dough into an greased bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap or the container lid. I use these wonderful tall plastic lidded containers that are perfect for dough. Let rise for 1 hour.
After it has risen, remove dough and flatten with your hands creating a rectangle. Divide the dough into 15, 16, or 24 pieces.
Dividing into 15 will give you good size rolls. You can use a buttered 9×13 baking dish to bake these and you may need to increase baking time a few minutes.
If you divide into 16 pieces, you can use two buttered 9″ round baking pans and place 8 rolls in each.
If you want to spread the love then you can divide into 24 and use a baking sheet to bake. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Shape rolls by taking each piece, and roll palm side down counterclockwise on your counter until a tight ball forms. Pinch the bottom closed to seal. Or, you can flatten each piece slightly and roll it up then pinch seam closed. Or, you can flatten slightly, fold top halfway down and then bottom up pinching seam closed. Transfer rolls onto baking pan of choice seam side down.
After shaping all the rolls, cover with plastic and a clean dish towel and place in the oven – which is turned off – along with a pan of boiling water and let rise for about 45 minutes . I use a 2 quart pan and place it next to the rolls. The steam of the water creates a warm and moist environment. I don’t bother switching out the water once it has cooled because I find the initial boost is enough. After 45 minutes, remove the rolls and water from oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Continue to let rolls rise another 15 minutes on the counter.
You can brush the tops of these rolls with an egg wash which is just a beaten egg mixed with a tablespoon of water. This will produce a beautiful brown shiny roll but will also form a crust. This is optional. If you want a softer squishy roll, skip the egg wash. I prefer soft and squishy.
Bake rolls for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. The time will depend on which pan you used. Remove rolls from pan and place on rack to cool. If you chose not to use an egg wash prior to baking you can now brush the tops with some melted butter to create flavor and shine. If you choose to do nothing that is okay too. I do nothing.
I hope you make these Perfectly Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls. Sounds like a lot of work but the result is definitely worth it.
Limited on time? Try my Single Rise White Bread which produces a delicious bread in no time. I also have a recipe for my Beer Bread where no yeast is required and it takes ten minutes to prepare and about an hour to produce a deliciously dense flavorful loaf.
Thanks for visiting. Until next time…
- 1 1/4 cups of warm milk about 110 degrees*
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 5 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 pounds
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons oil vegetable or safflower
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs room temperature**
- vegetable oil for greasing bowl or container
- Eggwash - optional***
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
In a bowl of your standing mixer fitted with dough hook, add milk, sugar, ginger and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Add about half of the flour and all of salt into the bowl with the yeast mixture. Start the machine and knead for about 2 minutes on medium high speed or until it's smooth like a batter.
Alternatively, mix using spoon or dough whisk.
Crack the eggs into the measuring cup with the oil and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and beat until just mixed. Add to the mixing bowl along with the softened butter and knead for about 2 minutes until smooth.
Add the remaining flour into the bowl and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but come away clean from the bowl. If kneading by hand try not to add any more flour as it will make the dough tough. Use a dough scraper to help you along.
Grease a bowl with about a teaspoon of oil. I use tall plastic lidded containers that are perfect for dough.
Take out the dough and knead it once or twice and do not add any additional flour. Use a scraper if you need to.
Place the dough into a greased bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap or the container lid. Let rise for 1 hour.
Remove dough and flatten creating a rectangle.
Divide that dough into 15,16, or 24 pieces depending on what size you would like the rolls to be and which pans you will use. Dividing into 15 will give you good size rolls. You can use a 9x13 baking dish to bake these. If you divide into 16 pieces, you can use two 9" round baking pans and place 8 rolls in each. If you want to spread the love then you can divide into 24 and use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Shape rolls by rolling each piece palm side down counterclockwise on your counter until a tight ball forms. Pinch the bottom closed and place in pan. Or, you can flatten each piece slightly and roll it jelly roll style then pinch seam closed. Or, you can flatten slightly, fold top halfway down and then bottom up like an envelope, then pinch seam closed.
After shaping all the rolls and spreading them out evenly in chosen pan, cover with plastic and place in turned off oven along with a small pan of boiling or hot water to provide moisture and warmth. Let rise for 45 minutes. Remove everything from oven and place rolls on counter to continue rising for another 15 minutes while oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove plastic wrap. Brush the tops with an egg wash, if desired.
Bake rolls for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Time depends on your chosen pan. Remove from pan and place on rack to cool. If you chose not to use an egg wash prior to baking you can brush the tops with some melted butter to create flavor and shine. If you choose to do nothing that is perfectly fine.
**If your eggs aren’t room temperature, place them in a bowl with warm water.
***This is optional. If you want a softer squishy roll, skip the egg wash.