Rolls or cornbread on Thanksgiving? Or both? My clan definitely leans towards the cornbread and I've got this family favorite which I will definitely be making, but rolls--we've got sort of a take 'em or leave 'em attitude. Now I've made these Fluffy Buttermilk Dinner Rolls before and they are really, really good but they do need to be kneaded (don't we all!!) and when you're churning out multiple pies, cookies, stuffing, not to mention that must-have cornbread, they're a bit much to take on (but don't hold this against them--if you're not all that busy, they really are wonderful!) But with my recent discovery of these new no-knead rolls which are light, fluffy, buttery and addictively delicious, as in eat-the-entire-pan-by-yourself-good, I'd have to be heartless and thankless not to bake up a batch (or two) for my family. Grrrr...I sort of love/hate them, you know? The rolls, not my family, although there are times...
Now, I'm not going to pretend there is no effort involved here--but the non-active portion of the rising of the dough totally outweighs the active time and the end result is so worth it. Really, what's better than a hot, fluffy, slight sweet and salty roll?!! And the knowledge that you made them yourself!
You start by mixing up a simple no-knead yeast dough that's enhanced with buttermilk--
Then you divide the dough up, roll them into balls, and nestle them together in the pan. Look at all those guys cuddling up to one another!
When they are finished baking you immediately brush them with melted butter and flaky sea salt. Heaven!
And look at all those little pockets of air--these almost melt in your mouth--that's how feathery light they are.
Whether you serve them on an ordinary weeknight, toasted for breakfast and slathered with butter and jam or on Turkey Day, people will rave and beg you for the recipe. And that is something to be truly thankful for!
One-Pan Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
Makes 24 rolls
Prep Time: Several hours but most of this is only for the dough to rise--you can definitely multi-task and do whatever you want; Bake Time: About 25 minutes
- 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided into 4 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons in separate bowls
- Softened butter for greasing pan
- Fleur de sal or other flaky salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine the boiling water and buttermilk, stirring well, it's ok if the mixture looks curdled. Let it cool for 10 minutes and them pour into the flour mixture. Add the 4 tablespoons melted butter and use a rubber spatula to mix everything together well, until a sticky dough ball forms. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours until the dough has doubled in bulk.
2. Make sure the oven rack is centered and preheat to 375ºF. With the softened butter, generously grease two 8-inch square or circle baking pans. Using two forks, deflate the dough by pulling it towards the center of the bowl, turning the bowl a 1/4 turn each time until you have a rough ball.
3. Onto a counter or board, sprinkle a handful of flour. Again, using the two forks, run a line down the middle of the dough and divide it in half, lifting each half onto the floured surface. Dust your hands and each half with some of the flour and form each piece of dough into a ball as best as you can. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide each ball into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a little ball, using more flour if necessary. Place each ball into the prepared pans, spacing them as evenly apart as possible. Let them stand in a warm place uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until the dough has puffed up and almost fills the pan.
4. Place both pans in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops of the rolls with the reserved 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle with salt, if using. Let rolls cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool another 5-10 minutes. Pull rolls apart and serve.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford.