No-knead bread is simple, but when I heard the promise of No-knead Dinner Rolls in an issue of Everyday Food, I was hooked. Dinner rolls always sound simpler and less complicated than baking a full loaf of yeast bread, much like baking a batch of cupcakes just sounds less labor-intensive than baking a multi-layer cake. But like the cupcakes, it turns out that making dinner rolls can take just as much time as the full-sized variation because you have to do all the same work leading up to putting the bread in the oven. A no-knead variation would let you skip messy steps, like kneading dough and getting flour all over the counter. So, I got out my mixer and set to work.
It turns out that the recipe is really only no-knead if you have a stand mixer. If you do, slap that dough hook on and you will only have to shape the bread before baking. If you don’t, I really recommend kneading the dough a little bit because it is very difficult to simply mix it by hand, and kneading it a bit gives it a better texture. Don’t get me wrong here: this recipe really isn’t very much work at all and it makes good rolls – it’s just not entirely no-knead for everyone!
Still, they’re easy to make. These are not as light as some dinner rolls I’ve had, but because they’re more substantial I think they go great with heavy sauces and chilis. You can even use leftovers for some really nice sandwiches! They have a nice buttery, slightly yeasty flavor to them. Since they’re baked in a 9x-13-inch pan, you pull them apart when serving, which means that every roll has nice, soft sides ready to be buttered and enjoyed.
No-Knead Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls
2 cups warm water (100-110F)
5 tsp active dry yeast (1/2-oz.)
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 cups all purpose flour
additional 1 tbsp melted butter, for topping
Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in yeast and sugar and stir. Let stand for 5 minutes until slightly foamy. Add in melted butter, eggs and salt and whisk to combine. Put the dough hook on the stand mixer and add in 3 cups of all purpose flour. With the dough hook on medium speed, gradually add in the remaining flour. Continue to knead until dough comes together smoothly, then knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and, using a pizza cutter or bench scraper, divide the dough into 15 equal pieces (thirds, then fifths). With lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and place into prepared pan (3 rows of 5).
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let stand for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until rolls are golden and sound hollow when tapped.
Take additional 1 tbsp butter and brush on top of hot rolls using pastry brush. Allow rolls to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Makes 15 rolls.