Monday, December 17, 2012

Old Fashioned Pull Apart Pan Rolls

An old-fashioned yeast roll, baked in a round cake pan, for pull apart rolls.

Old Fashioned Pull Apart Pan Rolls

A lot of folks get scared off by the homemade yeast rolls, and there are two things that typically do it. Overly dense rolls, resulting from improper measuring and using too much flour by scooping into the flour rather than spooning from it - and the process of having to shape them.

This roll takes a little bit of that away since the rolls are just formed into balls and tucked into a cake pan, or if you prefer an oblong baking dish, slightly smaller than a 9 x 13-inch pan. You don't even have to be all that precise with that to be honest, but I've included a tip in the Cook's Notes of the recipe that might be helpful to get a more rounded top on your rolls.

As I have often recommended in many of my bread recipes, proof the yeast for your dough as your first step when making breads and rolls. If the yeast does not puff up, it's dead and useless and it would be a waste of your time, energy and ingredients to go forward with it. Discard it and start over with fresh yeast. Since I don't make bread all the time, I buy my yeast by the jar and keep it in my freezer, but I still proof the yeast.

This is a great little, old-fashioned pull apart pan roll that would be perfect for your Christmas dinner. While, like any roll, these are best freshly made, they may be made and baked ahead of time, cooled and wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in the freezer. Just let them come to room temperature for several hours before reheating them, tightly wrapped in the foil, at the same time and temperature as you originally baked them.

Here's how to make them.

Heat the milk; set aside. Add yeast to a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of the sugar and 1/4 cup of the heated milk to the yeast. Let proof for 5 minutes or until yeast is puffy.

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the remaining sugar, and the salt. Add the yeast mixture, the softened butter and the remaining milk to the flour mixture. If you are using unsalted butter, you will need to add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the mixture.

Stir together until dough is shaggy looking, then turn out onto a floured surface, sprinkling a little of the remaining flour on top.

Knead by hand, until dough is smooth, adding some of the remaining flour, a little at a time, only as needed. Wipe out and oil the bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Generously butter two 8 inch cake pans; set aside. You can also do these in an oblong pan, though I recommend using one that is slightly smaller than a 9 x 13 inch baking pan so they will rise enough, somewhere around a 7 x 11 inch. Deflate dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface.

Pull off 16 equal sized pieces of dough (or 15 for the oblong pan), and form into rolls. I do this by dividing the dough into 4 pieces about the same size and then dividing each of those sections in four balls.

Place 8 rolls into each of the buttered 8-inch cake pans, or 15 for the oblong pan, placing them in rows of 5 by 3.

Cover loosely with a clean towel and allow to rise again in a warm, draft free place, until rolls have puffed and doubled and filled the pans, at least another hour, maybe more. Whatever you do, don't rush it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown. Brush tops with the melted butter and serve immediately with a batch of honey butter.


See those beautiful air pockets? That's why you need two good rises for a great yeast roll that doesn't have the texture of a biscuit.

Here's how to make them.

For more of my favorite rolls and biscuit recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

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Posted by on December 17, 2012
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