One Hour Rolls sm There is something about the months of November through about February that make me want some form of warm carbohydrate to accompany every meal I consume.  My problem with most yeast breads is that I don’t realize I want to eat them until I’m pulling everything out an hour or so before dinner to start prepping.  Homemade dough can be a big, long process and recipes that involve multiple risings and 2-3 hour windows, require some planning- which is why I usually only make them on special occasions.  So this recipe is what I use on those easy weeknights when I just want to throw something together quickly and have it done in an hour ready to dunk into a warm bowl of soup.  If you’re not a bread-maker, this recipe is totally for you.  You don’t have to proof yeast, you don’t have to let the dough rise more than once, and you don’t even need to worry about shaping it nicely.  This is as easy as it gets, and they’re done in about an hour (I always allow just a little longer).

I actually based this recipe off of our Everyday Cinnamon Rolls, and it remains very, very similar.  One of the reasons that cinnamon roll recipe is so popular is because it’s quick!  Many One-Hour Roll recipes you’ll find involve very limited ingredients, namely flour, water, salt, and yeast.  That’s because things with fats and proteins, like milk, eggs, and butter, slow down the yeast activity.  However, I played around with things and found I could use milk (I purposely use non-fat), a little butter, and a single egg, and still get quick results, with way more flavor than the basic recipes.  So if you’re craving fresh bread, no fear.  It’s only about an hour away.

First place some milk, butter, and sugar in a microwavable container.  If you’re out of milk, water will work fine, too.  You want the temperature to be between 120-130; in my microwave that’s just about exactly 2 minutes.

Liquid Ingredients
While that’s warming up, mix the dry ingredients.  One of the tricks of quick rolls is to use “rapid rise” or “quick rise” yeast.  “Bread machine yeast” is usually the same thing as well.  There’s no proofing involved here, (that’s when you mix the yeast with warm water until it’s foamy)  you can just put the yeast directly into the flour and stir it up.  I usually keep a jar of yeast on hand, so I’m calling for a tablespoon here, but know that if you don’t make bread very often and you have little packets of yeast and don’t want to open more than one, this will work just fine with a packet.

Quick Rise Yeast
In fact I made this very batch I’m photographing with a single packet (which is 2 1/4 teaspoons, so less than the tablespoon called for in the recipe) and it’s just fine.

Dry Ingredients You need the milk mixture to be between 120-130 degrees.  It needs to be at least 120, and anything over 140 will damage the yeast, so I usually shoot for right around 125.  If you have a digital thermometer you can pop in there quickly, it will save you lots of guess work.

Wet ingredients Temperature Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture.  If you’re using a stand mixer, just turn the beater on and slowly pour it in. I also like to add an egg, but you can leave out the egg if you want and replace it with 1/4 water.  I find the egg gives the rolls a bit more structure.  Without the egg, the rolls are just as delicious, it’s just a little bit different texture.  It is important to note, however, that you’ll want to let your egg sit in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes to bring it to room temperature.  Otherwise, when you put the chilled egg into your dough with that warm milk, it will bring the temperature down.

Mixing Bread Dough Then add a little more flour.  This dough will be very soft and sticky, so don’t start thinking it needs way more flour and go dumping it in.  Or if you do, don’t come back and leave me comments saying your rolls were dense and gross.  It should just barely come away from the bowl when you’re beating it, but still be sticky to the touch.  I add just a little less than 4 1/2 cups, usually more like 4 1/4, and then I put the last 1/4 cup on the surface where I’m rolling out my dough.

One Hour Dough
The trick here is to get that nice flour-covered surface, and then gently scrape the dough onto it using a spatula.  Once it’s all plopped on out, use the flour on your board to sprinkle all over the dough so it doesn’t stick to your hands.  Don’t knead the flour in, just use it to coat the outside of the dough.  Use light hands and form the dough into a smooth-ish shape.

I like to then score my dough with a pizza cutter, it helps to get even sized rolls.  For dinner rolls, I do 24.

Cropping out Bread Dough

Then just grab the portions and lightly form into balls.  And I use the term “ball” loosely here. As you can see, you don’t need to spend very much time perfecting little dough spheres.  Just lightly round them and plop them in there.

Rolls for Rising
You’ll need to set them aside to rise now, and I have a few more tricks for you.  One of my favorite features of my Thermador ovens is that they have a “proof” setting, which warms up the oven to a cozy 100 degrees.

Proof Setting

But I have a couple of other ways to create the best environment for rising dough.  If you’ve got double ovens, you’ll want to preheat one of them to actually bake the rolls, but with the other, you can turn it on to the very lowest temperature setting (that’s usually 170-200) when you start prepping the dough.  Leave it on for about 5 minutes and then turn it off and that should warm things up nicely.

Another favorite trick, which I actually still use, even with that proof setting on my oven, is to create a little steam room.  Place your pan of rolls in the oven (the oven is turned off) and place a pan underneath it.  Pour boiling water into the extra pan and then immediately shut the oven door.  The steam will not only warm up the space, but it also creates moisture that will help the dough stay elastic and not dry out on top.

Steam Oven for Proofing If you have a single oven, and need to preheat it for baking, I used to do that steam trick in my microwave.  If you have a rack, you can place rolls on top and steam on bottom, and if you don’t have a rack, chances are you can fit a drinking glass or mug in the corner (or two) of the microwave and achieve the same thing.  After 20-30 minutes, the dough should be nice and plumped up; about double in size (or just a bit less).  I usually let them rise closer to 30 minutes.  Most one-hour recipes will tell you 20, but that’s almost never long enough for me.

One Hour Rolls Rising
After they’ve grown and plumped, pop them in a preheated oven and bake them until they’re nice and golden .

Baked One Hour Rolls When they come out of the oven, immediately brush them with melted butter.

Butter Topped Rolls If you want to make these into bread sticks, you could roll dough in butter and our Garlic Bread Seasoning, or if you’re like me, you’ll save at least a little to bake a tiny pan of cinnamon rolls.  As you can see by this photo, these didn’t even last long enough for me to snap a picture.

Cinnamon Rolls And definitely, definitely, make a batch of our Maple Cinnamon butter to go with these, no matter how you make them!

Buttery One Hour Dinner Rolls from Our Best Bites

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