Category Archives: Food Odyssey

Dinner Roll Odyssey: Soft & Tender Dinner Rolls

Fluffeh-licious and you know it!

Fluffeh-licious and you know it!

Finally my long-awaited post is here! I’ve been promising Part II of my latest Food Odyssey (Dinner Roll Odyssey) for a while now, and at last the time has arrived!

I love bread and I love buns and homemade bread is the best there is, I think. I like knowing that there are no preservatives or unwanted additives, and the smell of bread baking in my condo just fills me with a sense of satisfaction!

The first recipe in my Dinner Roll Odyssey was Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls. They were quite nice. But I’m in search of GREAT! So I did some googling and came across a recipe from The Kitchn, called Soft and Tender Dinner Rolls. I made them. They were also quite nice! But they didn’t have the flavour that I was looking for. So I decided to play around with the recipe a bit.

I reduced the sugar by a tablespoon, and eliminated the milk. I added in another half cup of water along with a heaping tablespoon of milk powder. I’ve found that in other recipes, using milk powder instead of milk gives a nice caramel undertone, so I thought I’d try it in this recipe too!

And oh, the fluffiness of these rolls! IT’S. SO. FLUFFEH!!!! They’re pillowy soft and very airy, almost Kaiser bun-like in texture. They’re definitely the most like store-bought buns in terms of texture. The flavour still isn’t what I wanted, but these buns are PERFECT for “sopping up the last bits of sauce”, as the article in The Kitchn notes.

The winner-winner-veggie-chicken-dinner for this particular Food Odyssey? Well…it’s a split. The Copycat buns win for flavour, but the Soft and Tender rolls win for texture. Frankly, they’re both homemade bread, and fresh bread is just the best. But why don’t you try it out and let me know what you think? Here’s the recipe! And I can just say one last time…IT’S SO FLUFFEH!!!

FLUFFEH Dinner Rolls (adapted from The Kitchn)

  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. milk powder mixed with 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted

Mix the yeast and the warm water until the yeast is dissolved and let sit until the mixture is slightly foamy. Mix the milk powder and the water together, and add to the yeast mixture, along with the oil, sugar, salt, and the egg (beaten). Mix resultant mixture lightly. Add in the flour and mix (so much mixing, I know, but you’re almost done!) until a dough forms. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let sit in a warm area until roughly doubled in size, about an hour.

Line a lasagna tray (roughly 9 by 13 inches) with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 24 pieces, roll into balls and place in the prepared tray. Put back in the warm area until the dough is doubled in size, about an hour.

Brush melted butter over the top of the dough, and bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven, until the tops of the buns are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let sit in the tray briefly to cool, and then remove the parchment paper from the lasagna tray, and break apart the buns to serve warm. If you want o serve the buns cold, you can let the rolls cool in the tray, and only break them apart once you’re ready to eat them. That way the sides remain nice and soft!

Fluff balls in training.

Fluff balls in training.

Kitchen Hack: For a “warm area”, I just preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit when I start mixing the yeast and water, and then turn it off as soon as it preheats, and open the door for about 30 seconds to let some of the hot air escape. The resultant temperature is just right for the “let sit in a warm area” that bread recipes are always talking about.

These are great buns to freeze, and I’ve made several batches and stuck them in the freezer for lunch sandwiches, to serve with soup at dinner, or just for a midnight snack, warmed up in the microwave with some butter. Mmm….bread!

Next Post: Skor Mini Cupcakes! Mini chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream, toffee bits, and a piece of Skor bar! So pretty, and more importantly, so yum!

Dinner Roll Odyssey: Texas Roadhouse Copycat Rolls

Seriously melt in your mouth. And in this case, served with Apple Pear Butter.

Seriously melt in your mouth. And in this case, served with Apple Pear Butter.

Every now and then, I like to do something I call a Food Odyssey. I’ve done a Pie Crust Odyssey previously, where I tried out several different pie crust recipes in order to find the ultimate in flaky, tasty piecrusts, and now, dear readers, I bring you the…DINNER ROLL ODYSSEY!

Yes, bread, delicious bread! That gluten-filled, yeasty yumminess that is never quite so good as fresh out of the oven and buttered and happily snacked on.

I didn’t grow up with dinner rolls, but I do like them. They’re such a perfect little serving size. And what, you think I serve them with dinner? Ha! Ha ha! Well, I have been known to do so, but really, I use them for snacks, for lunches, and to eat when I’m foraging for food at midnight.

Which recipe to start the odyssey with? Well, in the U.S. (and yes, I’m Canadian) apparently the restaurant chain called something like ‘Texas Roadhouse Grill’ or so, has mouth-watering dinner rolls. So, hey, why not start there?

I used this recipe from www.foodfanatic.com, but me being me (*cough*Queen of Substitutions*cough*) I used 1/2 c. of milk powder instead of honey. Why? I still have milk powder leftover from the Venezuelan milk candy that my mother-in-law made for my wedding. Which was a few years ago now. Waste not, want not, and all that jazz! I figure the milk powder will add extra nutrition, and it’s sweet, so that can replace the honey. Plus, as I learned when I made Schoolhouse Rolls, milk powder adds a special, indefinable taste to buns. It just makes buns taste better in my opinion.

The result? Yummeh! They tasted a bit like my Schoolhouse Rolls, I thought. Which makes sense given that I did used milk powder. I wonder how they would taste if I actually used the honey the recipe called for. Should I make the recipe again, and follow it to the letter? Meh, boooorrrrring. I want to move on to the next recipe already!

Ooh, a whole tray of buns! I wonder how long this will last me....

Ooh, a whole tray of buns! I wonder how long this will last me….

I would recommend mixing the yeast with the warm milk and letting that proof for a bit, i.e. let it sit until foamy, maybe 20 minutes or so, before adding in the flour. The original recipe says to mix the flour and yeast together, but I’ve never heard of a bread recipe that didn’t proof the yeast and I think it makes the bread fluffier if one does so. So I’d recommend it! It will turn out ok without the proofing, but…I think proofing it makes it better!

So this recipe was ok. I mean, I enjoyed the freshly made, warm, buttery bread (oh dear, now I want to eat another one!), but I think it could be better. So…on to the next dinner roll recipe! And the odyssey has begun. Stay tuned!

Next Post: A Memories of Meals Past Post! And then back to bread, delicious bread!