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Buttery Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

December 2, 2019

These are REALLY good.  Stiff competition for my Refrigerator Rolls Deluxe.  A bit more time consuming and doesn’t make as many but totally worth it.

This bread uses a technique called a roux, per Serious Eats:

Water roux makes bread extra soft, tender and fluffy.

This works for any yeast bread recipe. Bread machine or oven baked. I’ve used it on white bread, sour dough bread and wheat bread (half white flour & half wheat flour).

What’s the secret to a high rising, soft, tender, fluffy loaf of bread?

Just add a flour and water roux to your wet bread ingredients.

The flour and water roux helps the bread to retain moisture during cooking and afterward. The roux traps moisture and retains it. This also makes a tall, fluffy, tender loaf with a longer shelf life.

You will really see and taste the difference

I have seen this technique in Japanese milk bread, which is very popular right now.

Also the dough is a brioche:  bread with added egg and more butter (in this instance garlic butter), than regular bread.

The recipe has a very specific way of rolling the balls of dough.  I did this the first and second time but it’s very time consuming and I felt it wasn’t worth it.  I just rolled the dough firmly in the palms of my hands to produce a fairly uniform ball of dough.  This is a personal preference though.  The directions are in the original recipe, if you want.

Buttery Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls from Bon Appetit

10 tablespoon butter, divided

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely grated

3/4 cup milk, divided (this can be 2% or whole)

3 tablespoons bread flour (preferably King Arthur Flour)

2-1/4 cups bread flour (preferably King Arthur Flour)

2-1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (from 2 packages)

2 tablespoon sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons kosher salt

vegetable oil or see my preference*

1 large egg, mixed thoroughly and set aside in small bowl with brush

Flaky sea salt

Place 5 tablespoon of butter, thinly sliced,  in a medium bowl.  Cook remaining 5 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling often, until butter foams, then turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Stay with the saucepan the whole time, do not wander away.  Browning the butter happens very quickly.  You can go from melted butter to burnt butter very quickly.  You do not want burnt butter. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the garlic.  Scrape this butter/garlic mixture, including the milk solids on the bottom, into the bowl with the sliced butter.  Reserve saucepan.  Stir the butter/garlic/browned butter until all butter is melted and mixture is smooth.  Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the butter mixture is room temperature and solidified, about 15-20 minutes.

While butter mixture solidifies, whisk 1/4 milk, 3 tablespoons flour, SIFTED and 1/4 cup water in reserved sauce pan until smooth.  Set sauce pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until it becomes a very stiff paste resembling mashed potatoes, about 2 minutes.  Scrape this mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Reserve saucepan.

Gently heat remaining 1/2 cup milk in reserved saucepan over low heat, to 100 degrees using an instant read thermometer.  No thermometer?  Dab the milk on the inside of your wrist.  It shouldn’t feel warm or cold.  Let sit for one minute.  Sprinkle yeast on top and whisk until dissolved or somewhat dissolved.  If the milk is too hot, you will kill the yeast.  So be careful.

Brush the bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch baking pan with 2 tablespoon of garlic butter and set aside.  Set aside another 2 tablespoon of garlic butter in a small glass bowl (so you can microwave if needed) for brushing over baked rolls.

Add yeast mixture, sugar, 1 egg, and 2-1/4 cups bread flour to paste in bowl of stand mixer.  Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms.  Add the kosher salt and increase speed to medium, continue to mix until dough forms a smooth single mass, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low again and add remaining garlic butter a tablespoonful at a time, waiting until incorporated before adding more.  Once all the garlic butter has been added, increase mixer speed back to medium and mix dough until very soft and smooth, about 10 minutes.  *Using the bowl that you made the garlic butter in, take a paper towel, and spread the remaining bits of butter/garlic mixture all over the inside of the bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl.  Cover with aluminum foil and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled.  To create a draft free environment for the bread to rise, I make a proofing box with my oven.  Take a pan, similar to a 9×13 baking pan and place on the bottom rack of your oven which is COLD.  Fill pan with hot boiling water.  Place bowl with bread dough, on middle rack, above the now steaming pan.  Close oven door.  Put timer on for 45 minutes and take a peak.  If needs more time, give it another 15 minutes.

When the bread has doubled in volume, punch down and knead several times to deflate (you can do this right in the bowl).  Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Pinch off about 1-5/8 ounce of dough and roll very firmly in palm of hands to make a nice round ball of dough.  Place in prepared pan.  And repeat with the remaining dough.  It will make 15 balls of dough in a 5 x 3 grid in the pan, spaced evenly apart.

Place pan with balls of dough on top of your oven.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Let rolls rise for about 35-45 minutes until doubled.

When rolls have doubled, very lightly brush with mixed egg from small bowl and then sprinkle with sea salt.

Place in preheated oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Place on cooling rack and brush with 2 tablespoon of reserved garlic butter (you might have to microwave for 10 seconds).

Let cool for 10 minutes.

Take a large offset spatula or large metal spatula and slide under rolls and the sides to release.  Invert onto a cooling rack and invert again right side up.  Let cool another 15 minutes before serving.

Do Ahead:  Dough can be formed into rolls (do not let rise) 1 day ahead; cover and chill.  Let rise before baking.  This might take about 3 hours.

Also, you can make the rolls completely and when cooled, freeze, covered in heavy duty aluminum foil,  for up to 3 days.


place butter in saucepan:

finely grated garlic:

browning butter:

add browned butter to butter in medium bowl:

sift flour into saucepan:

stir flour, milk and water until smooth:

over medium heat, whisk constantly until thick paste:

add to standing mixer bowl:

stir butter and browned butter until smooth:

brush 2 tablespoon of garlic butter on 9×13 baking pan and set aside:

set aside another 2 tablespoons of garlic butter into small glass bowl:

yeast mixture, sugar, 1 egg and 2-1/4 cups bread flour:

mix with dough hook until shaggy dough, then add kosher salt:

increase to medium until dough is smooth, then start adding garlic butter 1 tablespoon at a time:

place dough in bowl that you made the garlic butter in:

cover with aluminum foil and place in “proofing box” (cold oven) with pan of boiling water underneath:

after about an hour, dough doubled in size:

punch down dough:

weigh out 1-5/8 ounce (I know this says 1-1/2 but it should be a bit more):

roll into 15 balls and place in prepared baking pan:

let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes:

brush with egg and sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven:

remove from oven when golden brown, about 20 minutes, brush with garlic butter:

cooling, yum!





2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2021 11:28 am

    They look delicious and very much like the ones my mom used to make!

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