Usually the dinner roll always seems like a side kick that’s there just to make sure your meal is rounded out. The exciting parts of the meal, are usually, well, everything else. You would not think that a dinner roll could be the star and subject of its own post. Well, this kind of Asian bakery style dinner roll is more than worthy of its own post, and you’ll understand why after you try making these for yourself.
Dinner rolls are probably the type of bread that I make the most often. There are just so many different ways to enjoy it. Spread things like butter, jam, or anything else on them; make them into sliders; or just enjoy them by themselves. Yes, these rolls are good enough that they’re a treat all on their own. Whenever I make it for a dinner gathering with friends and family, these dinner rolls always get compliments.
To make the perfect dinner rolls, I usually use the Tangzhong method and let it rise in the fridge overnight to develop the best flavor and texture (I will share that recipe in the future). However, recently I wanted to challenge myself to make a nearly perfect dinner roll using a quicker and easier way. This way, whenever I want some dinner rolls, I can make them within a few hours. After making dinner rolls everyday for a week, tweaking the ingredients a little at a time, I think I’ve done it!
Before making this delicious rolls, please make sure to read my previous post “Soft and Fluffy Asian Style Pan Loaf – Secrets for Succeeding in making Asian Style Bread” for the detail and tips of making Asian style bread.
Apart from what I’ve shared in that post, here are some more tips specifically for making the pastry bread
Adding cake flour
Adding a small amount of cake flour into the dough is an easy way to make the bread lighter and fluffier. In addition this, a bit of cake flour helps the bread last longer before becomingstale.
Adding milk or water?
Based on my experiments, the dough using all water will rise a little better than the one using all milk, and the texture is more airy and less dense. However, that type of bread will have no bite to it, and the flavor will not be as good as the one containing milk. Therefore, I use half milk and half water to reach the texture and consistency I like. I also add a bit of condensed milk to enhance the flavor.
Adding egg does give the bread more flavor, but adding too much egg will make the bread rubbery. So my recipe has only half an egg in the recipe.
The type of yeast you use matters a lot. I noticed a significant improvement in the texture of my bread when I first switched from using Active dry yeast to Saf Instant Yeast. If you have the budget for it, I highly recommend the Shirakami Kodama Koubo Dry Yeast from Japan. It really helps improve the texture and flavor of the bread. However, it is quit expensive, and even in Japan it’s not cheap. I turn it into a starter that I I keep in the fridge, so I don’t need to keep buying it.
Too busy to make the bread in one day?
After kneading the dough, simply store the dough in a ziploc bag, squeeze all the air out, wrap it with a dish cloth and let it rise in the fridge for 12 hour to 3 days. Whenever you have time to make the bread, take out the dough and let it sit in the room temperature for 20 to 40 minutes (in the bag) and continue the rest of the steps. The second rise might takes longer as the dough is cold. I use this method a lot. Not only does it make the bread making process easier to fit a busy schedule, it also improves the flavor.
Freeze the bread
If you can’t finish eating the bread within one day, the best way is to store in the freezer. The bread will taste like freshly made after you heat up.
Asian Bakery Style dinner roll
- 250 g bread flour, 2 cup
- 50 g cake flour, 1⁄3 cup
- 30 g sugar, 2 tbsp
- 20 g condensed milk, 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- 80 g cold water, 1⁄3 cup
- 80 g cold milk (preferably whole milk), 1⁄3 cup
- 25 g whole egg, about half an egg
- 3 g instant yeast, 1 tsp
- 4 g sea salt, 1⁄2 tsp
- 30 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 small cubes, 2 tbsp
- melted butter for brushing
- Add flour, sugar, condensed milk, milk, water, egg and yeast into the stand mixer and knead on low speed until the dough is form.
- Cover the mixing bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- When it's done resting, add salt and continue to knead the dough until you can pull and stretch the dough for 2 inches without breaking.
- Add butter cubes and knead until the dough is very smooth and passes the windowpane test. (This step takes me about 6 minutes, with 5 minutes on low speed and 1 minute on medium speed. The actual time it takes you depends on your mixer.)
- Form the dough into a ball (it will be very sticky, but if it's too sticky to handle, then add a little bread flour and knead for another 1~2 minutes) and put it in a lightly greased bowl. cover, and let it rise for 1 hour to 1.5 hour in a warm place (between 82°F to 90°F) until it's double in size.
- Transfer the dough onto a working surface and cut it into 12 even pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place them in a lined baking pan, cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place (between 82°F to 90°F) until it's double in size (about an hour).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. When the temperature is reached, put the pan in the oven and bake for 16 minutes or until golden brown.
- Brush the top with melted butter and transfer the rolls to a cooling rack. Let it cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.