I’m not a stubborn person by nature; I’m happy to compromise and move on. But I can’t shake the urge to duplicate soft, flavorful homemade dinner rolls. After several (failed) attempts, I posted this recipe for whole wheat dinner rolls. Light and fluffy with whole grain flavor, they still left me desiring a moister crumb and a custard-like flavor. I returned to my fellow bloggers and cookbook authors and was quickly seduced by this buttermilk recipe. (I have a soft spot for buttermilk. A very soft spot. Okay, mutiple soft spots here, here, here, here and in many other places.)
This recipe is incredibly simple to prepare – perfect for yeast and bread-making novices. (Myself included.) The aroma of the dough rising and baking is rich and custardy – barely yeasty. Straight from the oven, these rolls have a thin, crisp crust and a slightly chewy but ethereal body. Versatile and flavorful, they pair equally well with sweet and savory offerings. These are our best homemade rolls…. Thus far.
Soft Buttermilk Rolls, adapted from Life’s a Feast
375 g (about 3 cups) bread flour
125 g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
2 tbsp (30 g) sugar (I used agave nectar)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ heaping (6 g) tsp dry active yeast
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk (I used low-fat)
¼ cup (60 ml) light cream
3 tbsp (45 g) unsalted butter (I used canola oil)
1 large egg + 1 egg for wash
- Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, lightly beat 1 egg.
- In a medium-sized saucepan (or microwave), gently heat the buttermilk, the cream and the butter together until just warm. Remove from the heat and stir the warmed liquid until the butter is completely melted.
- Quickly stir the beaten egg into the warm liquid ingredients then pour over the dry ingredients.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the wet into the dry ingredients until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and form a sticky dough.
- Scrape out onto a floured work surface and, adding more flour as needed, knead the dough for 6 – 8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic and no longer sticky (though not dry).
- Place the dough in a large, clean, oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour until doubled in bulk.
- Once doubled, scrape the dough back out onto the floured work surface and punch down.
- Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place the balls of dough in parchment-lined cake tins or baking sheet, spacing them about 1 to ½ inches apart.
- Cover once more with plastic and allow to rise a second time until doubled, another hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.