Soft White Dinner Rolls

The other day, I had a mad craving for a peanut butter and jelly. My desire had some rather specific parameters too; I wanted crunchy peanut butter, grape jelly (I usually buy strawberry), and some smushy white bread to put it on. So, of course, I set about making my sandwich dreams come true.

I used my standard White-Wheat bread recipe and simply used all white flour to attain that smushy bread quality I wanted. If you prefer the original recipe, use 1½ cups unbleached white flour and 1½ cups whole wheat flour. Usually when I make this bread, I add a teaspoon-ish of turmeric also. Not sure why I left turmeric out this time as it would be fine for sweet sandwiches and would have added its medicinal properties. Maybe I thought I’d remind myself what bread was like without it since I add turmeric to everything… or maybe I forgot. We may never know.

You may be intrigued by the potato flour in the ingredient list. It’s literally a fine flour made of dehydrated whole potatoes and is absolutely NOT potato starch, so please don’t make that mistake. I use Bob’s Red Mill potato flour. If you don’t have access to potato flour, you can use potato flakes (think instant mashed potatoes). If this is the route you’ll be taking, be sure to get potato flakes that are strictly that, potato flakes, with no added butter, seasonings, etc.

This bread is classic and is sure to please even the most dubious of taste testers. I barely waited for the rolls to cool before I tore one off for my PB&J. And yes, it was amazingly delicious and all my heart hoped it would be.

White Bread

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 to 2½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup potato flour or 1/3 cup potato flakes
  • ¼ canola oil
  • ¼ unsweetened almond milk, lukewarm
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, water, sugar, and yeast and let it set for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the oil, salt, and flours. Knead them together until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough- about 7 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand. You can adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water as needed, but remember the more flour you add while kneading the denser your final loaf will be (so add flour in small increments if needed).

Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover, and set in a draft-free place to rise about 1 hour. Dough will be puffy, but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Transfer dough to a lightly greased work surface; I used a cutting board lightly sprayed with canola oil. Now for the moment of choice, loaf bread or dinner rolls? If you are making a loaf, shape dough into an 8-inch log and place in a lightly greased 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise for another hour, bread should have risen about an inch about the rim of the pan.

If you’re making dinner rolls, you are going to divide the dough into 16 roughly equal pieces. I say roughly equal since you obviously don’t want a huge disparity in the dough ball sizes; however, some people use a kitchen scale to weigh each dough ball to ensure their accuracy. That’s a bit involved even for me, so we’ll just move along. I find that it’s easiest to first divide the dough in half, place one half back in the rising bowl, and work with half at a time. Once you have all 16 pieces, roll them into smooth ball shapes. I just used my hands, but you can roll them on your work space too. To make the bottom smooth, I hold the dough in one hand and gently pinch the dough towards the middle, then place the dough pinched-side down. Arrange dough balls in a lightly greased cake pan (I used two round cake pans), cover, and let rise for an hour.

Toward the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 350°F. For loaf bread, bake about 40 minutes, tenting loaf with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. For dinner rolls, place pan (or pans) in oven and bake 15 t0 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove bread from the oven. If baking a loaf, turn loaf out onto a wire rack and allow to cool. I let my dinner rolls cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes before turning them out onto the wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

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After the first rise.
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Ready to divide!
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Pinching the bottom round. This is after the first pinch; pull the opposite sides gently together in a second pinch to complete the process.
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16 mostly equal dough balls.
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Ready for the second rise.
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After the second rise. They are so puffy!!
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Fresh from the oven! My kitchen was cool today, so my rolls fell a bit while waiting for the oven to heat. Still delicious though!
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Yum!
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This, folks, is exactly why we’re all here.
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