This delicious recipe yields dozens of mini bread rolls. The most important (and surprising) ingredient in this easy bread recipe is the POTATO! Together with eggs and shortening, this key ingredient produce an enriched dough with two good results:
First, the resulting texture of the rolls are so soft inside, they're almost creamy. Secondly, the rich ingredients in this roll recipe yield a deeper, sweeter flavor.
Now, most of us love the amazing smell of homemade bread, but let's be honest: Making delicious soft bread rolls seems like a job for professional bread bakers.
But the very best thing about this particular roll recipe is that it's an EASY recipe!!
I'm not an especially good or experienced baker, but the deal with my podcast is that I make every recipe my guest shares! I was a little nervous about this one. The one-bite dinner roll recipe is so forgiving that I've made it multiple times. Each time the result has been a lovely roll (similar to an Amish dinner roll) with the perfect soft interior and slightly caramelized exterior.
FAQ About Mini Bread Rolls
Do you need a stand mixer or dough hook?
No, not at all. This can easily be made using just a large bowl, a wooden spoon, and your own hands for kneading!
What toppings do you recommend for these mini bread rolls?
Truthfully, they're perfect in their simplicity. Better with butter, because what isn't? 😉
Honey butter is a good option as well, but the rolls are a little sweet themselves, so don't overdo it with the honey!
Can I use this as a recipe for mini slider buns?
Yes! The genius of these rolls is the combination of soft and sturdy. So, these are perfect for sliders - or even as mini hamburger buns! They stand up to a lot of strong flavors, so you can even pour a sticky mustard sauce over your ham & cheese - like this favorite recipe of mine from Everyday Annie.
If you are going to use this as a mini slider roll recipe, feel free to top them with poppy seeds or sesame seeds before baking.
Can you make these dinner rolls with whole wheat flour?
Laura, my podcast guest and the author of this recipe says you can use whole wheat flour. However, she cautions not to substitute more than half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat. To do so would risk making them a little tough and dry.
I'm in a hurry - how long do these take to make and rise?
Way to think ahead!
After mixing the dough, you'll need to set it in a warm place for the dough rise. This first rise will take about two hours, although of course, it depends on the room temperature.
Once the dough is risen, you can cover it tightly with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for up to a week!
Or, you can use it to divide the dough and shape the round balls right away. After shaping, the rolls need to sit for a second rise for about an hour before baking.
All in all, if you'd like to eat in less than 4 hours from the time you're reading this - it's probably too late. Try again tomorrow! Or better yet, make the dough now and bake the rolls tomorrow.
Should I coat the rolls with an egg wash?
It's not necessary (or recommended). These rolls have a fairly high sugar content, which caramelizes on the top of the roll, creating a gorgeous golden brown color and slight crispiness to bite through.
Should I use active dry yeast or instant yeast in this recipe?
Active dry yeast needs to be "activated" in warm water (vs. instant yeast, which can be included directly with the dry ingredients and doesn't call for prior activation). This recipe has a step for that activation process, so it was written with active dry yeast in mind. However, instant yeast will also work, if that's what you have on hand. For more about active vs. instant yeast, read this post from Serious Eats.
During the rise, should I cover the dough ball with kitchen towels or plastic wrap?
The critical goal is to avoid allowing a crust to develop on the dough at any point during the process. For the first rise, a simple kitchen towel will suffice. It may be a good idea to use a damp cloth or damp tea towel just to keep some moisture in the bowl, or to very lightly coat the dough ball with some oil or melted butter during the rise. If you store the dough in the refrigerator, make sure you have plastic wrap touching any part of the dough exposed to the cold air.
Can I use this recipe to make large dinner rolls?
By all means, yes! Choose whichever size you'd like - one bite rolls, mini rolls, or more typical dinner roll size. Just obviously keep an eye on them in the oven - the smaller the roll, the shorter the bake time.
About Our Guest, Laura Clark
My podcast guest Laura shared this Mini Rolls recipe for Episode 007 of The Storied Recipe podcast. In that episode, she reminisces about childhood Thanksgiving memories playing and a very memorable Thanksgiving in Italy.
Our guest, Laura's Memories of these Mini Rolls
Laura's family enjoyed this recipe every Thanksgiving during her childhood. When she and her roommate cooked a Thanksgiving feast for their Italian and International friends, Laura made these rolls. She was particularly nervous about serving them to a guest from Naples, known to be the home of the best bread in all of Italy. He couldn’t stop raving about them!!