These are the most talked-about rolls in our house. Everyone goes crazy for them. They’re incredibly soft and slightly sweet, with just a touch of butter for richness. They are delicious plain, but the kids love to gobble them up with butter and jam. The dough is incredibly versatile, too, and can be shaped into delicious sandwich rolls.
About the Dough: To really nail that soft, shreddable, inside crumb, you’ll need a stand mixer to incorporate air into the dough. Due to the richness of the butter and eggs, it requires additional strength in order to rise, so consider the mixer your secret ingredient. These rolls can be shaped and refrigerated overnight to deepen the flavor.
- Yield: 12 Soft rolls
- 1 cup (240 g) milk, whole or 2%
- ¼ cup (60 g) water
- 2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for coating
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (200 g) bubbly, active starter
- 2 tbsp (24 g) sugar
- 3¾ cups (450 g) bread flour
- 1 tsp (5 g) fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- Splash of water
- A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
- Make The Dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water, and butter over low heat or in the microwave. Cool slightly before adding to the dough.
- Meanwhile, add 1 egg, starter, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to combine. Gradually add the warm milk mixture, followed by the flour and salt. Continue to mix until a wet and sticky dough forms, about 1 to 2 minutes. The texture will look very similar to cake batter. When finished, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, and store according to preference.
- After the dough has rested, switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed, about 6 to 8 minutes. The dough will not come together in a ball but will look shiny and smooth when ready. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
- Bulk Rise: Transfer the dough to a new bowl lightly coated in butter. Cover the dough and find a warm spot for it to rise. This could be near a heater, on top of the fridge, or even in a cabinet. Let it rest until double in size, about 6 to 8 hours, depending on temperature.
- Shape: Lightly coat a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33-cm) baking pan with butter.
- Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface. With floured fingertips, gently flatten into a rectangle. Cut the dough into 12 pieces, about 85 grams (3 oz) each, with a floured knife or bench scraper. Gather the ends, flip the dough over, and roll each piece into a ball. Place into your pan, 3 pieces across and 4 down.
- Second Rise: Cover the pan with a damp towel and let rest for 1 hour or more, depending on temperature. The dough should look puffy, but not fully risen, when ready. Alternatively, cover the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap and chill overnight, up to 8 hours. Return to room temperature before baking, about 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Combine the remaining egg with a splash of water. Brush the tops of the dough for a shiny finish.
- Bake: Bake the rolls on the center rack for about 35 to 40 minutes. The rolls will be fully risen and rich golden brown when finished. Serve warm or at room temperature, family-style, to share and tear.
- Soft rolls will last up to 2 to 3 days. Store in a plastic bag at room temperature to maximize freshness.