Quick! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Mine is anything bread-y. Rolls, biscuits, stuffing. It’s a very carb-heavy day for me.
And I don’t want store-bought bread or rolls someone made the day before, either. I want my breads homemade and fresh.
I’m very demanding right?
But timing baking bread on Thanksgiving Day can be a challenge because it’s a pretty busy prep day, to put it mildly.
I solve this problem by mixing the rolls the night before, popping them in the fridge, then letting them rise in the morning. I left these rolls in the fridge for about 14 hours and they turned out beautifully.
Total rising time in the morning will be between about 2 and 3 hours, then they bake for about 30 minutes, so it’s totally possible to have all of it done long before the turkey has to go in, and you’ll still get fresh-made rolls.
Unless you’re a family that eats Thanksgiving dinner at noon. That might present a problem. . .(My advice would be to push back dinner time so you can serve up these fab rolls freshly made. But again, I’m demanding.)
If baking bread is intimidating to you, try this recipe. It’s as easy as yeast breads get. That the rolls are dipped in butter before they’re baked doesn’t hurt, either. (In the history of the world, has butter hurt anything besides waistlines?)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Place water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle yeast over the water and whisk to combine. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Mixture should be kind of frothy.
- Stir in buttermilk, room temperature butter, sugar, salt, all-purpose flour, and 2 1/2 cups of the bread flour. Mix to combine.
- With your mixer’s dough hook, knead dough on very low speed for 8 to 10 minutes, adding more bread flour 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to form a soft dough that comes together and just clears the sides of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased mixing bowl and turn dough once or twice to coat with cooking spray. Cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator.*
- In the morning, generously grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
- Remove dough from fridge and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, until doubled in size.
- Gently deflate the dough by pressing your hand down on it with your fingers outstretched. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces.** Divide each piece into three pieces and dip all three in the 1/2 cup of melted butter. Place 3 pieces in each muffin cup. If you have leftover butter drizzle it over the top.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until rolls are light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool some before serving.
- *To make the rolls start to finish in one day, skip the fridge and let rise 45 minutes to an hour, until the dough is doubled in size. Proceed with the recipe as written.
- **I use a kitchen scale for this but it’s just fine to eyeball it.