All-Purpose Pan Rolls

When looking for a lifetime baked good partner, it is easy to overlook the humble yeast roll.  Face it, they are not exactly the pin up dolls of the food blog world. Forget embellishing them with ganache, salted caramel or edible glitter.  Pan rolls are not food porn. All-Purpose pan rolls are practical, versatile (for any meal, any time), reusable (they freeze well) and are easy to make.
Consider getting doughy and making yeast rolls for your family and friends. Your kitchen will smell fantastic!  Pan rolls are not intimidating. They support leftovers, they absorb pan juice spills and  they never fail to respond to a good buttering up!  All-Purpose rolls will, however, yield to you. With minimal effort they will become pleasing cinnamon buns, handsome pepperoni rolls and crazy good garlic knots.

Get to know pan rolls over the long haul.  I have been making All-Purpose Pan Rolls for almost 35 years of family meals and celebrations. Like a good partner, these rolls always make me (and others) smile!

Here is the recipe Sally made.
All Purpose Pan Rolls
 Makes 30 Rolls
2 ( 9 X 13 inch) baking pan

1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the bowl

4 cups whole or 2 percent milk

3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey

1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) rapid rise yeast
1/2 cup water, lukewarm

4 cups bread flour

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1. Put 1 stick of butter (8 Tablespoons) into a medium sized saucepan. Add the milk, 3 Tablespoons of honey and salt . Bring the heat to medium. Stir frequently until the butter is melted and mixed with the milk. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool until the milk is lukewarm.

2. In a medium bowl, add the yeast, water and remaining 1 teaspoon of honey. Gently stir to dissolve the honey into the water. Let the yeast mixture rest for five minutes or until the yeast begins to activate.
3. Put the flours into the work bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook. Mix the flours on low speed until blended. Raise the speed to medium low. Add the lukewarm milk mixture to the yeast mixture. Slowly pour the milk and yeast mixture into the bowl of flour. Stop the mixer. Scrape the excess flour down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix on low speed until all the flour is blended into the dough. Raise the speed to medium. Mix the dough for 8 minutes. Turn off mixer.
4. Butter a large glass, ceramic or metal bowl. Empty the dough into the bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. When dough has risen, punch it down with your hands before removing it from the bowl.
5. To form the rolls, empty the dough onto a work surface and divide the dough in half. Divide each dough half into 15 equal size pieces. Cup a piece of dough under the palm of your hand and roll on the counter to form a ball. Dip the dough ball in melted butter and place in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Continue rolling and dipping until you have 2 pans filled with 5 rows of dough with 3 rolls in each row. Let the rolls rise until doubled in bulk.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the 2 pans of rolls for 25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven. Cool on a metal rack. Serve. Extra rolls freeze very well.

Recipe ©Sally James Mathis

Photography ©Taylor Mathis




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  1. says

    I prefer the dark back ground – the interesting texture highlights the relatively plain rolls, the used pan makes the rolls look home-made in a good yummy way, and the darker lighting is nice and moody. Thank you for inspiring me to take better food photos!

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