Challah is one of our all-time favorite things to bake. The satisfaction of having the dough double in size, braiding it into a rope, then watching it grow and brown in the oven—it's such a wonderful baking project, and the results are delicious.
But as incredible as a fresh slice of challah is, it can't replace a perfectly tender and fluffy dinner roll, which just makes a bowl of pasta or a large dinner salad that much tastier. In fact, bread is such a vital component of dinner that it just makes sense to have a go-to dinner roll recipe, one that will never fail you and will delight your friends and family.
Which is where these pillowy rolls come in. They're like having your own personal mini challah, and they can be enjoyed in countless ways. We've split them in half and made fried egg sandwiches. We've spread them with butter, and peanut butter and jelly. We've brought them to a potluck, feasted on them for Christmas, and may just make mini French toast with them.
They aren't difficult to make in the slightest, but they do require some time to rise. Read the instructions carefully, so you know how much time you need to allot yourself. Most importantly, enjoy!!
Fluffy Challah Rolls
Makes 12 rolls
- 4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
In a large bowl, whisk together yeast and 1 cup warm water (about 115°F). Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Whisk in the sugar, oil, and egg yolks. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and salt. Stir to form dough—it should be soft and a bit sticky, but not sticking to your hands every time you work with it. If it's way too sticky, add a bit more flour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 6-7 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel, and let sit for 1 hour (dough should double in size). Punch down the dough, re-cover, then let sit for 45 minutes more.
Spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray and heat oven to 350° F. Cut the dough into 12 even pieces, then roll each piece into a 10"-long rope. Tie each rope into a knot (we used this tutorial at 1:28), tuck the ends underneath, then transfer to the baking pan. After all 12 rolls are in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
Uncover the rolls, then brush them with a lightly beaten egg—you won't use the full egg. Bake the rolls until lightly golden brown (don't over-bake!), about 20-23 minutes.
To freeze, wrap any leftover rolls tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature, then warm slightly in the oven or microwave before serving.
Recipe adapted from Saveur.