You don’t need a bread machine to make homemade dinner buns. You can make dinner buns with simple kitchen utensils and tools such as a bowl, a rolling pin, a small saucepan and a floured board.
Flavor is Always First
To get started, first determine what the flavor of your homemade dinner buns will be. The possibilities really are endless, ranging from no particular taste to herb dinner buns, whole grain hearty-tasting dinner buns, or even fruited dinner buns for a more exotic flavor.
When you’re flavoring the dinner buns with herbs, you’ll need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of an herb mixture to add to the basic recipe. When creating whole grain hearty-tasting dinner buns, you’ll substitute whole grain flours such as whole wheat, rye, buckwheat, spelt, or barley/rice flour for one half to three quarters of the regular unbleached flour in the basic recipe. And when you’re creating fruited dinner buns for a more exotic flavor, you can add 1/2 cup of currants to the basic recipe and consider replacing the milk with a juice such as apple, pineapple or a juice blend you’re fond of.
Your basic homemade dinner roll recipe is:
1-1/2 cups fluid, usually milk
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup oil or 3 to 5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast
Combine your liquid and oil in a small saucepan and warm it over low heat until it reaches about 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
In your mixing bowl, add 2/3 of the flour, all the sugar, salt and yeast. Mix thoroughly. Add the warm liquid and mix again.
Add the remaining flour a few tablespoons at a time, mixing and kneading as you go. The dough will be sticky at first but as you add more flour, the dough will become shiny and elastic.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Set the bowl in a warm spot, away from drafts or high heat. Let it rise for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a floured board or onto the floured countertop. Punch it down and knead for about 5 minutes.
Next comes the fun part when you can form the dough into whatever shape you want. If you want round rolls, cut the dough into smaller portions and form them into rolls. Place each roll onto a greased baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between rolls. Some people opt to use muffin pans.
If you want S-shaped rolls, shape the rolls into an S-shape before placing onto the baking sheet. Sometimes cooks decide to create bread braids by forming three long strips of rolled dough into a braid as if they were braiding hair. Brush the tops of the homemade dinner rolls with butter to encourage browning. Cover them, let them rise again in a warm spot for about 20 minutes.
Finally it’s time to bake them once they’ve reached the height and shape you intended them to become. Don’t expect them to rise much in the oven. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool them on a wire rack.
Homemade dinner rolls are always a hit at any holiday party. Don’t go without them!