Thursday, September 29, 2011

Like the Pillow You Wish You Had

        I have been so very sleepy lately. I want nothing more than to crawl into bed, close my eyes, and sleep the day away. Hour after hour of long, undisturbed and peaceful rest, the incessant beeping of my alarm clock for once silenced. Not that the silly clock has ever been particularly useful to me, as I always manage to wake up before the darn thing. You wouldn't believe how many times I open my eyes to "6:59", just one minute before my alarm's cue. It's almost like I have a sixth sense for these things, but, eh… it would be cooler to see ghosts.
        You're probably wondering what I decided to bake for this occasion. I'll tell you--I baked a bunch of pillows. Soft and oh-so-fluffy pillows. Okay, so they were dinner rolls, but with their unbelievable softness and fluffiness I couldn't resist giving the rolls a more fitting name.
Soft and Fluffy Pillow Rolls
        Soft and Fluffy Pillow Rolls. The name covers their texture perfectly, but misses another extremely important component entirely: their taste. Now, the taste is absolutely nothing like a pillow. 
        The rolls themselves are very lightly sweetened, their tops brushed with melted butter before baking and sprinkled with coarse salt. Eating one fresh from the oven is pure bread bliss, when they're nice and warm and the butter flavor is at its most pronounced.
        I wasn't surprised in the least at how good these rolls turned out. The dough was such a dream to work with that I was unable to imagine it baking into anything other than completely perfect rolls.
        Robert, my most loyal taste-tester, adored them. He ate one, then another, then a third, and kept coming back for more. My family happily served them alongside a delicious dinner of pork roasts and they proved to be the perfect compliment to the meal, in all their soft and fluffy pillow glory.
        Two words.

Soft and Fluffy Pillow Rolls
(Adapted from Allrecipes)
Yield: 12 to 16 rolls

1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 egg white
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Coarse salt

  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in warm water; let sit for about 10 minutes. Warm milk in a saucepan until it just begins to bubble. Remove pan from heat, stir in butter and remaining sugar until butter is melted, and allow to slightly cool for a few minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yeast and milk mixtures. Add egg and stir to combine. Gradually stir in flour and knead on a lightly floured surface about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  3. Punch down risen dough. Divide dough into 12 to 16 pieces and roll into balls. Place balls in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish; cover and let rise another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Brush tops of dough balls first with the egg white, then with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle coarse salt over tops. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes or until tops are lightly golden.
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  1. Nothing like fresh baked rolls...with butter! Great photos, Nicole!

  2. Oh my what a beautiful roll! The pictures are fantastic and they sound just heavenly. I am a huge bread/starch fan. I'd live off it if I could. Therefore, these sounds wonderful to me. Perhaps they'll make an appearance at my Thanksgiving dinner this year?

  3. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.September 29, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    These rolls are perfection, Nicole! I think I could live off of buttery rolls like this.

  4. Nothing beats a warm fluffy homemade buttered roll, ::makes beavis and butthead sound:: Yum! Thanks for sharing, great photos! =] 

  5. They really look fluffy and moist even in pictures. We always use grocery bought rolls, but I think I might give your recipe a try...

  6. Bread, Bliss...  that's all I need to read!!  Sold!

  7. Oh yum a warm pillow freshly baked, sounds divine.

  8. They sure look fluffy and soft... always buy my rolls but they've never looked this soft, Nice photos :)

  9. Love the look of these rolls texture - seriously craving a warm bread roll now! So perfect :)

  10. Dinner rolls,'s all good and comforting.  Your rolls look fantastic!

  11. These look amazing! 

  12. I tried your recipe and the rolls came out perfect. Thank you!!!

  13. You're very welcome! I'm so happy you enjoyed them, and thanks for the feedback!

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  41. Hi, April! I'm so glad you and your husband enjoyed the rolls. Thanks for letting me know! :)

  42. april litchfieldMay 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Thanks...showed him your recipe and first thing he noticed and said was that mine even look like the pic of yours lol thanks again