Put a piece of wax paper on your scale and zero it. With floured hands, place the deflated ball of dough on the scale and weigh it.
Break the dough into pieces and weigh each piece. Use the table below for the number of pieces, and divide the weight of the entire ball by that number to get the weight of each piece.
|Hoagie Rolls||4 pieces|
|Burger Buns||6 pieces|
|Slider Rolls||8 to 10 pieces|
|Dinner Rolls||10 to 12 pieces|
You should have pieces of dough all almost exactly the same size.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet.
Slider rolls and dinner rolls will stay softer if you use a pan like a cake pan with higher sides that’s just big enough to fit all the rolls.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball in your hand, stretching the top, tucking it under, and turning the ball until the top is smooth.
If you’re making hoagie rolls, place the ball on a floured counter and use the palm of your hand to roll it back and forth until you have a log the length you want.
Place the balls of dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place a piece of wax paper over the rolls to protect them while they rise, and keep them someplace warm, preferably at about 70° F.
At this point, if you’d prefer to have flatter rolls than the rounded high-top rolls pictured, place a second baking sheet on top of the wax paper, and press down gently, firmly, and evenly until you have the shape you want.
Allow to rise for about 45 minutes.
The dough won’t quite double this time, but it will grow some.
Place a rack in the center of your oven and place a metal pan on a lower rack or the bottom of the oven.
The lower pan and water are optional. They will make steam which keeps the crust soft at first so the yeast can rise the dough, and also helps dissolve sugars on the surface of the rolls that caramelize for that final crispy outside crust.
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Break an egg into a small cup or bowl and add about a tablespoon of cold water.
Beat the egg with a whisk or a fork.
Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the balls of dough with the egg wash.
Be sure your knife is really sharp for this, and sharpen it if necessary.
Make slices about 3/8 inch deep. Slash, don’t drag, so that you’re not tearing the dough.
You can make one or two parallel slashes. I decided to make an X in each roll.
Prepare a cup of hot water in advance and have it ready by the oven.
Place the rolls in the preheated oven.
Add the cup of hot water to the pan underneath.
Immediately turn the oven down to 375° F. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, if the tops of the rolls look like they’re going to burn, loosely tent them with a piece of aluminum foil.
Use the following table for approximate additional baking times, depending on roll size:
|Hoagie Rolls||15 minutes|
|Burger Buns||10 minutes|
|Slider Rolls||8 minutes|
|Dinner Rolls||7 minutes|
Set your timer for the additional time from the table for your roll size.
Remove the rolls from the oven.
Use tongs to get the rolls off the parchment quickly, or their own steam will make the bottoms soggy. Cool on a wire rack.
Cool at least 10 minutes.
These rolls are best the same day, but they will keep a day or two wrapped at cool room temperature.
These rolls are soft and airy inside, with even texture both horizontally and vertically.
The cook got to eat this Dude Burger, made with local freshly-ground beef with 25% smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and local produce!