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These dinner rolls are an attempt to replicate the soft, kind of sweet, deep chocolate-colored rolls served at various chain restaurants (particularly steakhouses) around the country. The taste-testers here at King Arthur Flour and The Baker’s Catalogue raved about these, so even if they’re not an exact match for those restaurant rolls, we’re sure you’ll find them tasty.
1 1/3 cups (10 5/8 ounces) warm water
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
1/2 cup (6 ounces) honey
2 3/4 cups (12 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 3/4 cups (7 3/4 ounces King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon powdered caramel color OR 2 teaspoons liquid caramel color (optional, but without it the rolls will lack their distinctive color)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bucket of a bread machine, or in an electric mixer. Mix and knead until you’ve formed a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
If you’re using a bread machine, program it for the dough or manual cycle. If you’re using a mixer, start with the flat beater, then switch to the dough hook when the dough starts to form a ball and come away from the sides of the bowl.
Note: You may also prepare this dough by hand; it’s very sticky and a bit messy at first, but just keep at it, flouring your hands and trying not to add too much additional flour to the dough; eventually it’ll smooth out.
Let the dough rise in the bowl (or bucket of the bread machine) for 1 hour. It won’t have doubled in size, but should be just a bit puffy. Divide the dough into 10 even pieces (about 4 ounces each), and shape the pieces into 6 x 2-inch oval rolls. Coat each roll, top and bottom, with some yellow cornmeal. Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, and allow them to rise, covered, in a warm place, for 90 minutes to 2 hours. They won’t have doubled in size, but will appear puffy; when you gently press your finger into one, the indentation will rebound quite slowly.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 24 minutes, until the bottoms appear slightly browned (you’ll have to carefully pick one up to look), or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a roll reads about 200°F. Remove the rolls from the oven, and cool them on a rack. Yield: 10 rolls.
Nutrition information per serving (1 roll, 109g): 304 cal, 5g fat, 7g protein, 44g complex carbohydrates, 14g sugar, 4g dietary fiber, 13mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 173mg potassium, 46RE vitamin A, 3mg iron, 12mg calcium, 131mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 3, Early Spring 2001 issue.