If I tell you the dinner rolls pictured above were taken on the second day after baking and are eggless too.. A bit hard to believe? 🙂 . Yeah, you heard it right. Eggless dinner rolls with just the bare minimum essential ingredients.
Soft, light, airy dinner rolls are the dream of every true baker. Most people manage to make dinner rolls at home, but not everyone gets it perfect. Neither did I, until I kept redoing, adding and deleting ingredients. Finally am up with one, which for me is definitely a keeper.
This should have preceded my white bread recipe, coz that one was based on this. Somehow could post only now. Home bakers generally do not add the additives that you find in store-bought bread and rolls. But the basic ingredients like milk, egg, butter, milk powder, and sometimes vital wheat gluten or even baking powder are added for soft rolls.
Agreed that adding milk/milk powder does make soft rolls. In India, dinner rolls are called pav and are usually made eggless. So I was looking to make an eggless version, with just the flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt and butter, and the very basic method. And after umpteen trials and errors, finally, I am here 🙂 .
I just wanted to show that soft fluffy rolls are possible without anything else, other than the basic necessary ingredients. I have also minimized butter and added coconut oil partly. You can follow me as is, or replace oil with butter and vice versa.
Replace butter with any vegetable oil if you are looking for a vegan version. Else, you can even opt to add 1-2 tbsp of milk powder or completely replace the water with milk.
Whatever you do just see that you add enough water to keep the dough loose and sticky during the first knead and rise. I had to add 1 tbsp more of water, to make the dough sticky while kneading. This I think is the very basic need for the gluten strands to form and develop.
You will see in the pictures below that even when I lifted the kneading hook from the stand mixer bowl to add the rest of the ingredients, the dough strand does not break.
Even if you happen to add a bit more water, do not worry. You can add more flour to bring about a tacky dough, during the second knead.
For People who do not have a stand mixer
- Proof the yeast in a big sized bowl. Add the flour and mix up gently with a ladle or spatula for a good few minutes, till you see the dough forming strands as you mix.
- Let rise. Add the rest of the ingredients. I would suggest that you add powdered sugar, so that when you knead later it’ll be easy.
- Knead on the countertop adding flour in small installments, till you get a tacky dough.
- Proceed with the recipe as given below.
In our house, dinner rolls vanish in no time. Yeah, it is made from all-purpose flour or maida, and may not be considered healthy, even though it is the staple in most of the world. Still, it can become a lot more healthy minus all those additives, when we make our own.
Think pavs used in pav bhaji, vada pav, dabeli and all such kind of Indian snack items. How satisfying it would be to enjoy these with homemade pavs. Bliss!
Make it and enjoy it as we did 🙂 . Dedicated to all my Indian vegetarian friends.
Over to the recipe.
Eggless Dinner rolls
For the dough
- 3 cups plain flour (375 g)
- 1.25 cups + 1 tbsp water (250 ml + 15 ml)
- 1.5 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp jaggery/sugar
Rest of ingredients
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup flour
- 1.5 tbsp melted butter
- In the bowl of a stand mixer proof yeast in the 1.25 cups of water and jaggery/sugar. Let sit till it blooms.
- Once it froths, add all of the flour and knead for about 7 minutes on medium speed. The dough should look loose and shaggy. If not add more warm water as needed. I had to add 1 more tbsp of water.
- Cover and let rise for 30 - 45 minutes till it doubles in size.
- Now, add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of flour and butter and knead again for another 8-10 minutes. Add the butter as you knead. The flour can be added while kneading by tbsps till you get a tacky dough.
- After kneading,transfer this dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with hand for around 2 minutes.
- Shape into a rectangle and cut into pieces as fits your baking tray. I used my steel baking tray, which can fit 12 rolls at a time. Usually, I weigh the dough and divide it into equal-sized balls.
- Shape into rolls and arrange on a greased baking tray. Let rise for an hour until they swell in size.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Brush the top of the rolls with milk and bake for 15-20 minutes till the top becomes brown.
- Brush the buns generously with butter as soon as they are out of the oven. I prefer to cover with a dry cloth and let them cool in the baking pan, though I keep the tray on the cooling rack.
- Relish and serve them as you please. Your family and friends will simply adore these rolls just as we do. They are small balls of heaven when slathered with butter
- The water for proofing the yeast should be warm to the extent that you can stick your fingers in, generally 110°F /43°C.
- You can reduce the amount of sugar, if you feel its too much or if you like it salty. But if you are looking for even a mild sweetness, this much is needed.
- You can also replace the sugar with honey or other sweeteners of your choice.
- I have added half coconut oil and half butter. You can replace it totally with butter, or with any oil of your choice.
- Tacky means sticking to your hand when touched but still can be easily released, unlike a sticky dough. Tacky dough usually sticks to the bowl or counter and is not completely dry.
- Greasing your hands with butter or oil, while shaping the rolls gives a smooth finish.
- Letting the rolls cool in the pan itself seemed to give a softer roll than keeping on a wire rack. The base did become moist, but maybe that’s what makes them softer.
- They were good for 3 days on the counter.
- Head over to my baking basics page for troubleshooting, if any.
I hope your baking venture turns out to be successful as it was for me. I will be happy to help you if you have any queries.
Do have a look at my other bakes