Are you scared of making homemade bread? Maybe you’ve heard or seen videos of homemade bread that takes 2-3 hours (which is pretty normal), and even more 17 hours (bohooo!) to make a loaf of bread or a simple dinner rolls. You dread the tedious work, the kneading and the waiting and so you would rather buy bread than make it. I hear you, I’ve been there and I had the same sentiments.
But do you know that not all bread are created equal? Yes, just like cakes and pastries, bread can also vary in terms of complexity and wait time. So I say just go on the level that you are comfortable with so that you wouldn’t hate it, that way in the end you may end up liking it. Maybe, just maybe, this is the bread that would remove your fear of homemade bread.
How To Make This Simple and Easy Homemade Dinner Rolls
This Rosemary Dinner Rolls is seriosuly good! I am totally obssessed with this bread that I made this almost once a week and sometimes even twice a week. I shouldn’t play favorites, but recently I am guilty of giving this bread more attention than the other bread in my blog. The taste and texture was inbelievably amazing! It has this creamy taste, the texture is soft to the point that its almost perfection to me. And then add to all that the flavor and amora of the rosemary. I also made this using Italian Herbs spices and it turned out even better, as if it is not good enough. To top all these, it’s a one hour bread! This bread totally made it possible for me to have freshly baked bread as often as I want to. On the average, you will need 2.5 hours to make a bread and I say again, that is the average time. The first rise needs 1 hour and another 1 hour for the second rise after shaping the dough, then 30 minutes for kneading and shaping it. 2.5 hours for me is not that bad, compared to artisan bread that takes 17 hours wait. Besides I normally do other task while I wait for it to rise. But this bread doesn’t need 2.5 hours, 1 hour is enough to get this soft and fluffy dinner rolls. This is a yeast bread, meaning to say there will be wait time, but don’t run away yet because the wait time is very minimal. You wouldn’t even notice it, I promise you. 1 hour bread, remember? Let’s check what going on in this bread.
How to Make Rosemary Dinner Rolls
Let me give you a quick summary on how I made this bread. I used active yeast for this bread, which needs “proofing” to activate it. It only took 5 minutes to get the yeast activated. I added it in warm water (110F) and added sugar in it. Temperature is very important in activating the yeast, make it too hot or cold and the yeast will not activate properly. After activating the yeast, I added all wet ingredients to the yeast mixture until just combined, this was followed by adding the dry ingredients in 2 batches then mixing happened for 8 minutes. We need to do it in double batch so mixing is easier. After this step, a clean bowl (no flour sticking on the bowl) is what I aimed for. Clean bowl meant that I was on the right track for the consistency of the dough. Not too dry, but still slightly sticky. Most of the time I did not need to add additional flour and sometimes I had to. If your dough gets too sticky, add 1 tbsp of flour at a time until you get a clean bowl and the dough forms. The most that I need to add is about 3 tbsp, don’t over do it adding too much flour as it can make the bread heavy and dense. Final dough should be slightly sticky but manageable. Then 15 minutes rest and a warm place, shape, rise again for another 15 minutes then off it goes into the oven. Sounds easy, right?
Tips for a Successful Soft Homemade Bread
- Check Yeast Expiry a Date – you might be wondering how come the bread did not rise when you followed exactly the recipe. Well, first thing first, make sure the yeast is not yet expired.
- Liquid Temperature – Yeast grows in temperature between 110 – 115F, so it is important to have the water that you are using to “proof” it in this range. If you go lower or higher, the yeast might not proof properly. That means the bread will not rise as much, resulting to a flat and tough bread. If you do not have kitchen thermometer, microwave the water (from the faucet) about 15 – 20 seconds. Feel it with your fingers, it sound be lukewarm not hot.
- Amount of Yeast – Just because you want a tall fully bread doesn’t mean you have to put as much yeast in the mixture. Sometimes if you add too much, it will have a tendency to collapse. Just imagine putting more air than what is needed in a balloon, the balloon will explode. The same case with bread.
- Right Type of Yeast – We’ve discussed the 3 types of yeast above. Make sure to use the right one for your recipe, and make necessary adjustments if you want to swap one from another.
- Flour Measurement is not exact all the time, but with only minimal difference. Sometimes it could be plus 2 – 4 tbsp more, this is why I always set aside about 1/4 cup in case I need to add more. If you measure the liquid properly, and still the dough turn out dry, then it could be that the flour moisture is either dryer than usual. Dry flour requires more liquid, and lighter flour requires less liquid. This could depend on the brand of the flour and the age of the flour, and of course flour could vary from country to country. The nearer the flour gets to expiry date, the more that it gets dryer. If you are like me who doesn’t monitor the expiry date, then you just have to feel the dough if it needs additional flour. You want it to be still soft and moist but not too sticky. Moist but enough to form the dough into a ball. My test is a bowl with clean side, while the dough still slightly stick at the bottom. This gives a soft dough.
- Rest Period – Yeast bread needs time to rise. There are bread that uses less yeast but requires more rest time, the likes of No Knead Bread or Artisan Bread which usually require 8- 16 hours rest period to get the volume and to develop the flavor. There are 1 hour bread like my Rosemary Dinner Rolls which used this same bread dough. Resting the dough is imperative to allow the gluten to relax and to allow the dough to rise. A well rested dough will rise better, will created pockets or air, and will make a light and soft bread. Remember, 2 rest period. First at least 1 hour and another 1 hour for the second rest period. It’s worth the wait, promise.
Why is My Dough Too Wet or Too Dry?
Don’t get frustrated if your dough did not turn out immediately as what you see in the photo or video. Most likely It is not because you did not follow the recipe. When it comes to bread making, the amount of flour and liquid is not always 100% precise. This is way often times you will encounter recipes that says, if your dough is dry, add a bit more liquid. If your dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour. This instructions are not meant to confuse you, they are meant to guide you on how to adjust as you work through your dough. The reason for this is that although the measurement of water and flour are specified in the recipe, it still could slightly vary depending on many factors. For instance, all-purpose flour could very from country to country, or even from brand to brand. Don’t be surprise if you find that some brand tends to require a bit more liquid as the others. On top of this, the amount of liquid is also affected by the state of your flour. How old is the flour that you are using? Older flour nearing expiry tends to be drier and this requires more liquid. Bread making requires patience, and practice. Once you learn how to feel the right texture of the dough, everything will be quick and easy. You can instantly tell if you need to add more water or flour to get the dough in right state.
Big Batch Ingredients:
2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 cup warm Water (110F)
- 3 tablespoon Sugar , divided (1 teaspoon for yeast, remaining for flour mixture)
- 3/4 cup Milk , warmed to about 80F
- 1 large Egg – room temperature
- 3 tablespoon flavorless Oil
- 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus 1/4 cup on the side ONLY as needed
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Dried Rosemary or 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (you can increase it for stronger flavor)
- 2 teaspoon Salt
Small Batch Ingredients:
1 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110F)
- 2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon Sugar , divided (1/2 tsp for yeast, remaining for flour mixture)
- 1/4 cup+ 1 tablespoon Milk , warmed to about 80F
- 1 large Egg – room temperature
- 2 tbsp Flavorless Oil
- 1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour plus 1/4 cup on the side ONLY as needed (I sometimes ended up using about 2 tbsp of it)
- 1 tablespoon Dried Rosemary or 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (you can increase it for stronger flavor)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
Makes 6 pieces
Reminder: The instruction below is for big batch measurement. Please make necessary adjustment if you are making a small batch.
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 whole Egg – beaten
- 1 teaspoon milk (you can use powdered milk diluted in water) or water
Activate Yeast: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together yeast with water and 1/2 tsp of the granulated sugar. Rest 5 minutes until mixture is foamy.
Add Wet Ingredients: Set mixer with paddle attachment and mix in remaining sugar (1 1/2 tbsp), milk, egg, and oil on low-speed.
Add Dry Ingredients: Add salt, rosemary and 2 cups of flour and mix on low-speed until combined, then switch to a hook attachment. Set mixer on low-speed and slowly add in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. Allow mixture to knead on medium-low speed until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed, about 8 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add 1 tbsp at a time (but not more than 1/4 cup) until the dough starts to form, dough should be slightly sticky and not too dry. If too much flour is added rolls will be dense and heavy. A good measure of correct texture is a clean mixing bowl.
Rest 15 minutes: Remove the dough and form into a ball. Transfer into a greased bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap or warm towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes. This is how it looks like after 15 minutes. It is not expected to double in size, we just need a little air inside, so don’t panic if you see only slight increase in size.
Shape and Arrange: Lightly push the dough down with the heel of the palm of your hands and divide into 12 equal portions, shape each into a ball. Do not knead too much as it will knock out the air that was accumulated during the rest period. Pull the sides down and tuck under several times then make into a ball shape. Arrange the ball with tucked side facing down so that you have a smooth exposed surface. You can arrange it in a baking dish or a cookie sheet. If using a cookie sheet, space each piece at least 3-inches apart. The baked photos here were baked in a cookie sheet so they look like individual pieces instead of pull apart, while the raw dough below were arranged in a baking dish. This was a separate batch just so I can show you how it looks like. Spray or grease plastic wrap then cover the dish allow to rise in a warm place about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F during last 10 minutes of dough rising.
- To help the dough rise better, I put it inside the oven which I pre-heated to 110F. Once it reached the 110F, I stopped/canceled it (my oven minimum is 170F) DO NOT forget to stop it, you only want the oven to warm up for the dough to rise, you do not want to dough to be baked. Some oven has a proofing setting, mine doesn’t, so this is my trick.
Brush Top: Gently brush top of rolls evenly with egg wash by combining 1 tsp of milk and 1 beaten egg. Make a cross mark on top (optional).
Bake: Bake in preheated 350F oven until tops are golden brown, about 25 – 27 minutes or until top turned brown and glossy. Serve warm, reheat before serving as necessary.
Makes 12 rolls
Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy with my minor modifications
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