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Old 11-20-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
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Please help me troubleshoot: Dinner Rolls

Breads are my weak spot. I've never been truly good at baking anything with yeast!

I've tried this recipe 4 times now. My rolls are coming out denser than I want them to. This is a copycat recipe for Golden Corrals dinner rolls. At the restaurant they are light as a feather with a slight crust on the outside. The inside is airy and light.

Mine taste good but are significantly heavier, and for me the texture is what I'm after. I'm getting a roll more similar to those you'd buy at the grocery store prepackaged. For all the work I'll just buy them if I'm going to end up with the same thing anyway!

Here is the recipe. I followed this exactly- using a candy thermometer to take temp when using the yeast in the beginning and being careful about measurements to make them exact. Help!

Elisa's Favorite Recipes: Copycat Golden Corral Rolls

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Old 11-20-2016, 02:39 PM   #2
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Flour is tricky, you might need less or more then a recipe says because of absorption and gluten contain in the flour.

You are beginner I guess with bread. So use you hands instead of a machine to learn when the dough is right. It should smooth and elastic to the touch. Just start with less dough the the recipe says, then work slowly in more while kneading until you feel the dough no longer sticking to your hands and starting to become elastic, keep kneading until becomes smooth.

Remember the fluid that goes into a dough should be hand hot / blood warm, never hotter then the bread get dense. Check you dry yeast, some types of yeast does not need to proofed, instead they go in with flour and that is all they need and they can lose a bit action when proofed.

You dont need to use plastic wrap over bread dough, a clean kitchen towel will do fine.

Remember dough knead a little love too. ;)
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:20 PM   #3
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Sorry, it should be.

Just start with less flour the the recipe says, then work slowly in more while kneading until you feel the dough no longer sticking to your hands and starting to become elastic, keep kneading until becomes smooth
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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One of the most common mistakes in baking is the way flour is measured. If you have a scale use that. The flour bag will tell you the weight equivalent of a ¼ cup of flour. Use that ratio to convert your cups to weight. e.g. King Arthur AP flour is 120 grams per cup.

If you don't have a scale, fluff up the flour in the bag and gently spoon it into a measuring cup. Don't tap the cup or shake it to even it off. Just spoon it into the cup then level off the top with a straight edge like the back of a knife.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:55 PM   #5
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try mixing up the order in which you do it. Even your OP suggests doing the milk before starting the yeast. So that should be #1.

#2. Dissolve your sugar into your water first, then sprinkle on your yeast and just let it sit. Don't stir 'till you're ready to mix it into the flour.

#3. Add your salt to 3 cups of your flour and whisk in to distribute.

#4. Add your wet ingredients and mix with a spoon and then a spatula as far as you can. (in other words - don't use the mixer - use that when you've learned what it looks and feels like)

#5. Dump out on your board and start kneading, slowly adding the last cup & 1/2 until it is smooth and elastic. If you don't add all of it - don't worry! That's why most recipes state 3 to 4.1/2 cups or 6 to 7 cups. Humidity, flours all will act differently at different times.

#6. Just turn on your oven lamp, if you have one, and let your bread rise in there - that is plenty warm enough. Or if no lamp, At the beginning of mixing, first turn on your oven to minimum allowed, let it reach its temp and then turn off immediately. The residual heat should be more than enough to do the rise.

#7. After shaping rolls allow to rise on top of oven while oven heats. I cover with plastic or wax paper and then also a dish towel.

Good luck and let us know how it works.

I really think that CakePoet hit the nail on the head for your problem - start with the lesser quantity of flour. But I hope the other changes I told you help as well.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie_Cooks View Post
Breads are my weak spot. I've never been truly good at baking anything with yeast!

I've tried this recipe 4 times now. My rolls are coming out denser than I want them to. This is a copycat recipe for Golden Corrals dinner rolls. At the restaurant they are light as a feather with a slight crust on the outside. The inside is airy and light.

Mine taste good but are significantly heavier, and for me the texture is what I'm after. I'm getting a roll more similar to those you'd buy at the grocery store prepackaged. For all the work I'll just buy them if I'm going to end up with the same thing anyway!

Here is the recipe. I followed this exactly- using a candy thermometer to take temp when using the yeast in the beginning and being careful about measurements to make them exact. Help!

Elisa's Favorite Recipes: Copycat Golden Corral Rolls
The recipe calls for warm water and warm milk. Use a thermometer to be sure that they aren't too hot. The description in the recipe you linked is a bit wrong to me. I usually don't heat beyond about 105-110 max - past that and you start to kill the yeast. Scalding temperature milk is too hot, and trusting the preset temps for your home hot water is also not a great way to go. Ours would be way too hot for adding to any yeast mixture.

I am contributing the rolls for our Thanksgiving get together at my brother-in-law's home, and the recipe I use is THIS ONE, and it comes out perfectly every time. And it only takes a bit over an hour total to make.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:29 AM   #7
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Thank you so much for the replies! Here's exactly what I did, to be more specific:

1. Create milk/butter/sugar mixture. Measured milk into bowl and microwaved until warm. Melted butter in a separate bowl, added to milk. Added sugar. Stirred until dissolved. Set aside.

2. Ran hot tap water into a glass. Used a candy thermometer to measure temp. Confirm tap water in glass was exactly 105 degrees with thermometer. Added yeast and set aside for 10 minutes to foam.

3. When yeast had fully foamed (no liquid left at all in bottom of glass, all foam) I took the temp of the milk mixture with the therm and confirmed it was 105 degrees. Mixed the milk, egg and yeast mixture gently in bowl of stand mixer.

4. I measured 4.5 cups of flour into a separate bowl. When I measured the flour I fluffed it up in the bag first with a fork, then took the measuring cup gently scooping the 4.5 cups. (To make sure the flour was not packed into the cup.)

5. Started the stand mixer on slow speed and began adding flour a little at a time until mix had thickened to the point where I needed to switch to a dough hook. My mix looked like the picture within the recipe. Sticky mess, not a formed ball of dough.

6. Let mixer run for a moment with dough hook attached. I was looking for the dough to be a smooth elastic ball, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. I added a bit more flour to achieve that. In the end, I ended up with about 1.5 cups of flour leftover in my pre-measured bowl. I ended up using only around 3 cups of flour even though this recipe called for 4.5.

7. I let the mixer run on a slow speed with the dough hook for exactly 5 minutes. I set a timer and came back when the timer went off.

8. Transferred the dough to a greased bowl and let it rise in a warm oven for 60 minutes. My dough looked good after that rise in my opinion. It had tripled in size.

9. Punched dough down and formed into 12 equal sized balls. I put all 12 into a single pan, not touching. I put back in the warm oven and allowed to rise again for another 45 mins. At this point they doubled in size but weren't quite as "high" as I wanted them to be. I wasn't sure what to do so I just went ahead and baked them that way because that's what the recipe said to do.

I had hoped they'd rise just a bit more during the baking process. It didn't happen. I was left with rolls that actually looked fine, and tasted fine, but they were the texture of a standard commercial white bread that you buy in the store. Not the feathery lightness I wanted. Was it the second rise that went wrong?
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:53 AM   #8
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I think you are blooming too soon. You keep your dough to hot. How warm is your home? I can with zero problem get a dough up to double in size with in 1 hour and my home is 64- 68 C. I just keep it in draft free place, my kitchen table to be exakt.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:58 AM   #9
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I think it was the first rise that was the problem. You let the dough triple in size then deflated it, using up a lot of the yeast's rising ability. The norm is to let the dough double in size. That way, there's yeast left to give you the final rise you missed.

I find that for the first rise, double in size or even a little less is what you need.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie_Cooks View Post
Breads are my weak spot. I've never been truly good at baking anything with yeast!

I've tried this recipe 4 times now. My rolls are coming out denser than I want them to. This is a copycat recipe for Golden Corrals dinner rolls. At the restaurant they are light as a feather with a slight crust on the outside. The inside is airy and light.

Mine taste good but are significantly heavier, and for me the texture is what I'm after. I'm getting a roll more similar to those you'd buy at the grocery store prepackaged. For all the work I'll just buy them if I'm going to end up with the same thing anyway!

Here is the recipe. I followed this exactly- using a candy thermometer to take temp when using the yeast in the beginning and being careful about measurements to make them exact. Help!

Elisa's Favorite Recipes: Copycat Golden Corral Rolls
First of all you will never get a roll like those " you'd buy at the grocery store prepackaged." because the methods used in factories are not those that you can use at home. You can, however, make a better roll.

First of all, are you using "Strong" bread flour? It's stronger than all-purpose flour. I saw some recently labelled "Extra Strong" - I bought some but I've not yet used it. Make sure your flour is not stale (check the use-by date) and that your yeast is fresh (again check the use-by date). I've been baking bread for 50+ years and mostly I use "Active Dried Yeast" under the label of Allinsons. I'm not fond of the results I get with the instant yeasts. It can help if your flour is slightly warm especially if your kitchen is cold but I don't bother.

Secondly, throw away your bread maker!!!!

Always have your liquids warm (not hot). Ignore anyone on television or in magazine's, etc., who tell you to use cold liquids. I experimented with this and it took nearly TWO DAYS for the dough to rise!! A slow rise is good but not that slow!

Don't rush the initial kneading. The dough needs a good 10 minutes when kneading by hand, less if using a large mixer (Kitchen Aid or Kenwood Chef type) or a food processor. Even with mechanical kneading I always give the dough a few minutes hand kneading afterwards.

When your dough has risen "knock it back", ie give it a light needing for a couple of minutes and then shape your rolls. Don't be impatient now. Give the rolls time to prove until they are almost doubled in size and then finish them off with egg wash or milk as you please and bake.

A bit of practice and they should come right. Bread can't be rushed but you don't have to stand and watch it throughout the whole proceedings. It's easy to fit it round your life. I usually make my dough in the evening and let it rise over night - because that suits my lifestyle.

I did read somewhere that you can't make yeasted doughs if you live at high altitudes. I can't comment on this as nowhere in the British Isles is higher than 4,411ft 2in above sea level and no-one lives on top of Ben Nevis!

The home bread maker's bible is "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" by Elizabeth David. I bought a copy many years ago and swear by it. The only proviso is that she uses coarse sea salt crystals and if you are using ordinary fine table ofr kitchen salt you would be advised to half the amount she gives in recipes.

Don't give up. There's a lot of satisfaction in home bread making and not just in the eating. Kneading dough is better (and more productive) than thumping your husband
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