When I was working as a pastry chef for a local restaurant, I made my breads from scratch.
Jim’s Restaurant Rolls
5 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups water, warm
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, white granulated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
1 egg, room temperature
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to sit 5- 7 minutes while the yeasts activates and starts to come alive. You should see a foam on top of the water if the yeast is active.
In a mixing bowl, with the dough hook attached, combine flour, sugar, salt, butter and egg. Turn on low to start the mixing procedure.
Add the yeast mixture to it.
Add 3/4 cups of the warm water and continue mixing until a dough ball forms around the bottom of the dough hook and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Adjust the water till you have a medium texture that is smooth and a clean dough ball forms around the hook.
Remove from the bowl and place in a second bowl and lightly coat the dough ball with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in a warm, dark space for 40-50 minutes, until doubled in size.
Use a couple of tablespoons of extra flour and dust your work area with the flour and turn out the dough ball.
Punch the dough down and flatten it.
Cover with a towel and allow to rest for five minutes.
After five minutes, form into a dough ball and roll out.
Using a dough knife, cut out cubes of dough that weigh between 2 and 3 ounces each.
Form into small balls and lay out on a baking sheet, two inches apart on a parchment paper. (I use parchment as it makes it easier to remove the bread once it is done and easier on the cleanup.)
Spray with a cooking spray and cover with plastic and let it proof till it has raised or doubled in size again.
Heat oven to 450°F.
Once the bread has proofed to twice its original size, take 1/4 cup of water and put into a hot pan in the bottom of the oven. Allow the steam to build in the oven before putting your bread into it.
Once you put the bread into the steam filled oven, it will do what we call bounce where it energizes the yeast cells in the dough and causes a massive surge of growth. When this happens, the sugars in the cells of the dough begin to caramelize and it forms a nice, thick crust.
After 5 minutes, lower oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 20 minutes, or until a nice brown crust forms. If you have a temperature probe, the inside of the bread should be around 190°F.
Depending on your oven, you may have to take it out and rotate your pan halfway through the baking process for a uniform color.
Remove from oven and serve.
I often serve mine with homemade Honey butter.
2 cups butter, unsalted, softened
1/4 cup honey, room temperature
Mix till creamy smooth and serve.