This recipe comes from Craig Boyack at coldhandboyack. He’s an author rather than a baker, but has been making these gorgeous rich rolls from his Grandma’s recipe for years. I’ve turned it into a more formal recipe than he had, (I know he won’t mind me saying that as he described what he posted as not really being a recipe), and apart from a couple of small tweaks, I think I pretty much recreated what he described.
WHAT YOU NEED:
For the rolls:
– 2 Packs active dry yeast (14g)
– 10 cups strong white bread flour (1.28kg). This quantity is approximate, you may need more or less depending on flour type, where in the world you are, what the humidity levels are, what your star sign is, and what your lucky number is; well, some of those things anyway. If you’re unsure about flour types, see my flour guide
– 2 1/2 cups milk (600ml)
– 1/2 cup sugar (100g)
– 1/2 cup butter (113g) – Craig’s recipe used shortening here, your choice, either will work
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 2 large eggs, beaten
– 1 cup freshly grated parmesan (70g)
– 6 large garlic cloves, minced
– A little oil for greasing.
For the topping:
– 2 cubes butter (56g) – here you definitely need butter
– 2 large garlic cloves, minced
– 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (18g)
WHAT YOU DO:
Deep breath, there’s a lot to do…
1. Tip the yeast into 1/2 cup lukewarm water, mix with a fork, set aside and mix again a few times until you use it to avoid clumps.
2. Place the milk, sugar, butter (or shortening), and salt in a pan on a gentle heat, and warm until the sugar and salt have dissolved and butter has melted, stirring all the time – don’t let it boil.
3. Pour the liquid into a large bowl and leave it to cool for about 15 mins.
4. Add one cup of flour to the liquid and mix it in well, preferably with a balloon whisk. Don’t worry if a few little lumps remain despite your best efforts (I did worry, but it all turned out fine in the end!).
5. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and whisk in. Then add the grated parmesan and minced garlic, mix it in well.
6. Check the temperature of the mixture with your finger, it should be just a little warm, if it’s too hot for your finger then it could kill the yeast, so add some more flour. Once the temperature is good, pour in the yeast mixture and stir.
7. You now need to work in the rest of your flour. Add it one or two cups at a time, you may not need all of it, or you may need more, you want to end up with a good, workable, non-sticky dough. I found it easiest to use a pallet knife to work the flour in for the first few cups, and then switched to using my hands nearer the end.
8. Once your dough is ready, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Your hands should stay clean while you’re kneading, if you find that the dough is coming off and sticking to your fingers, then add a little more flour.
9. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl or large pot, cover with cling wrap or lid and put it in a warm place for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
10. Tip the dough onto the counter and punch the air out. Craig’s recipe said to then leave it for 10 minutes, but I was feeling rebellious so I didn’t, instead I lightly kneaded it again for about 2 minutes.
11. Divide the mixture into equal sized pieces. My pieces were just over 100g each and I ended up with 23 rolls, but you can vary this depending on what size and shape of roll you want. Then shape them into rolls. I went for simple round rolls (Craig did knots with his).
12. Place the rolls onto trays that have been lined with baking paper and lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (that wasn’t part of the original recipe, not sure if it’s essential, but just in case!).
13. Cover the trays with cling wrap and leave them in a warm place to rise for about half an hour. The rolls with rise further during cooking, so make sure after this second rising that there is still enough expansion space between them all.
14. Using a sharp knife, cut two slits into the top of each roll (this is just for decoration as my rolls were just plain round).
15. To make the topping, melt the butter with the minced garlic, stirring well to get the garlic taste through the butter. Brush this generously over all the rolls. Finish by sprinkling the parmesan on top of each one.
16. Bake in a preheated oven 200C/400F for…well, mine took 17 minutes, but Craig’s only took 12-13 minutes, so maybe his were smaller, or perhaps the knotted shape cooks quicker, or maybe just the difference in ovens, who knows! I would say check them after 12 mins by gently tapping the bottom of one to see if it sounds hollow, if not, then go a few minutes more.
Don’t be alarmed if they seem to be colouring up quicker than you expected, that’s because of the garlic butter glaze, so they will look more done on the outside than they are in the middle. Obviously the larger the rolls, the longer the cooking time, the more that will happen, which is why mine are quite dark. To quote Paul Hollywood, and my favourite line of his from the last series of The Great British Bake Off, “The glaze falsely accuses the roll of being ready.”
17. Cool them on racks, and then stare at them, thinking “There’s a lot of rolls there, maybe I should have done a half batch. I wonder if they’ll freeze ok…I’m going to try freezing some to see.”
Anyway, thanks Craig for sharing your Grandma’s recipe, and happy baking everyone!