My thoughts on this holiday dinner roll recipe

By: Alexa Ramirez

It is without a doubt people will enjoy a variety of foods this holiday season, each with their own delicious main courses and side dishes. This leaves many people, including myself, looking for the perfect rolls to accompany those meals. After extensive research, I found a recipe for rolls that looked absolutely delicious and relatively easy to make. These rolls were made for a Thanksgiving dinner, but are very versatile, and would work well with any other holiday, or non holiday, meal.

The recipe I found is from the Kirbie’s Cravings webiste, and my inspiration was from an instagram cooking page (their handle is: @kayzukhs).

The recipe calls for:

  • 2 1⁄2 cups of bread flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp of salt
  • 11 tsp of sugar(3tbsp+2tsp)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1⁄2 cup low fat/fat free milk
  • 120 grams of tangzhong*
  • 3 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp of instant yeast

*The tangzhong method
The tangzhong method is an Asian method of bread preservation that is intended for many different types of bread, all for them to be kept fresh and soft for longer periods. It is made with a flour and water mixture that is prepared several hours, to a day before, using bread flour and water and then mixed into the dough with the other wet ingredients. This tangzhong needs to sit for several hours, to a day, before adding it to the bread and for it, you will need:

  • 1⁄3 cup of bread flour
  • 1 cup of water

After getting all of my ingredients, I started to make the tangzhong. It was really simple; I mixed the bread flour in water and heated it over medium heat until it thickened, then placed it in a medium bowl and covered it in Saran Wrap before putting it in the fridge to sit. After preparing the tangzhong, I preheated the oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit, and mixed the dry ingredients and then the wet ones before adding in the tangzhong.

After that, I kneaded it all together until it was no longer sticky, and had a thick but stretchy consistency, which is what the recipe said to aim for.

I then rolled it out into nine separate rolls and let it sit for two 40-60 minute waiting periods. This part of the process was the worst for me because it left me so much time without any baking to do.

Once the waiting was done, I was able to cover an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and take the rolls out of the bowl and into the pan. I then covered the rolls with one egg, as instructed, and decided to add some basil to the top for my personal touch.

I then baked them for 30 minutes as suggested on the website and finally finished with delicious-looking rolls.

The dough before rolling and prepping
Rolled, waiting to bake!
Dinner Rolls fresh out of the oven

I was so excited to try them at dinner the next day, and they exceeded my expectations! Considering this recipe was my first time making bread from scratch, it was a challenge but left me with a delicious result. The bread turned out fantastic, it rose nicely creating fluffy, tasty rolls.

They paired nicely with the food I ate with my family and weren’t too filling, which is often my problem with dinner rolls. They had a rich flavor that was delicious and savory, versus the overdone, over-sweetened flavor that is common in rolls, and it paired perfectly with our dinner of turkey, potatoes, and veggies.

Another thing I enjoyed about this recipe was that my family hadn’t heard of this baking technique before, so it was interesting to learn about it and be able to share my knowledge with others who enjoyed baking. The recipe also called for ingredients that were easy to access, and could be found at most grocery stores, which was something I appreciated.

My recommendations after using this recipe, for anyone deciding to try it out, would be to set many hours aside when baking them because my biggest challenge with this recipe was how much time I spent waiting around on the bread before I could bake it. This is true of most bread, but is worth taking into account before baking so some time is set aside.

I also recommend branching this recipe out to many non-holiday meals! It makes for a great pairing to most savory or sweet foods and would be a great addition to any table. Overall, I rate this recipe, and my experience, a 4⁄5.

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