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Nov 19, 2007 04:03 AM

Dinner Roll question

Hi - I am in charge of baking the bread products (oh yeah, and dessert) for Thanksgiving. We are driving from NY to Phila so I think driving with raw rolls is not feasible. 1) can I bake them on Wed and just refresh for 5 min in a warm oven on Thurs and will they be ok? 2) What is your favorite recipe? There are a couple on the CI website and I have the Gourmet cookbook which also has a nice recipe or two. FWIW I may also make a hard-crust pesto bread if I have time and I'm motivated. Advice welcomed! Thanks!

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  1. Most breads you buy in grocery stores and bakeries now are "par-baked" and frozen: when it's time to put them on display, they put them in a hot oven for 3 or 4 minutes to finish off and make a nice crust. So I'd copy that and cook them a few minutes less initially, then put them in a hot (375-400) oven just before you sit down to eat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      I thought you would get 40 answers and the first one was right. I guess we all hung in the weeds. I would lightly bake them at late as possible, cool totally, wrap air tight and take them and finish in your host's oven. They will be absolutely as good as they can be. I would probably cook a little longer than 3 or 4 minutes. Just brown them lightly the first time out and go for the gold at the end.

      1. re: dutchdot

        Thanks. I thought I'd get 40 answers too. I am still on the fence regarding which recipe to use, but no one has responded...

      1. I don't know what kind of rolls you're considering but I like these Parker House rolls:

        I also have a recipe for fluffy crescent shaped ones that I like if you're interested. Let me know and I can post it. I'd make them ahead, cool completely, keep them in a ziplock bag. Reheat when you get there 5 minutes at about 400 degrees.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          I think the epicurious one you posted is the one in my gourmet cookbook. This is a LOT lighter than the one from Cook's Illustrated which calls for 14 tbsp of butter (!). However CI also has a recipe for American Dinner Rolls that is very similar to this. I am leaning towards this "genre" of roll, though the pumpkin ones below sound very yummy.

        2. I made these pumpkin maple rolls recently. Thought they were very good - and colorful! I'm lazy so I put it all in the bread machine and let it rise (used 2 3/4 cups flour but it maybe could use a little more) then shaped the rolls and let them rise again.


          Makes: 16

          21/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

          1/2 cup cornmeal, plus additional for dusting rolls

          21/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast

          11/2 teaspoons salt

          2 tablespoons butter

          3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (nothing added)

          3/4 cup milk, plus additional for brushing the rolls

          1/4 cup pure maple syrup

          In a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, cornmeal, yeast and salt. Pulse to combine. Alternatively, in a medium bowl, whisk the ingredients together then proceed with the recipe using a stand mixer.

          In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add pumpkin puree, 3/4 cup milk and syrup. Stir over low heat just until very warm, about 120 F to 130 F.

          Add warm pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and process or mix until combined. Pulse or mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, sticky dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl.

          If using a processor, process for 2 minutes to knead. If using a stand mixer, knead with a dough hook for about 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes.

          Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Uncover the dough and cut it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each into a smooth round ball. Set balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

          Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Brush roll tops with milk and dust with cornmeal. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned.

          Nutrition per roll 125 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 25 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein; 1 gram fiber;

          222 milligrams sodium.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Susan627

            Those rolls sound fabulous, but you may be looking for a regular dinner roll set up.

            Don't worry about the recipe. Really. If you have made it and like it, it will work. The deal is to have them as fresh as possible. Bake lightly, cool, wrap air tight, drive fast and brown.

            On another board I told the story of my life in Alaska when I used to boil the water for my yeast because there were mountains around. My late husband used to eat ten sandwiches every day for lunch. I learned to bake.

            You will be fine. Make late, partly bake, wrap tightly and brown.

            1. re: dutchdot

              Thanks... I am really the baker in the family, so I doubt anyone else would notice the minute differences I'd notice! I will follow the advice about underbaking and finishing on arrival