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Shaping Dinner Rolls to Look and Taste Their Best

Tips for making light, uniformly shaped, classic dinner rolls

Fine Cooking Issue 41
Photos: Scott Phillips
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Use a pastry scraper to cut the dough into 16 pieces. For the best results, weigh each piece until you get the feel for them.

I make these dinner rolls often, but I especially like to serve them with Thanksgiving dinner. They have a subtle, comforting flavor that goes well with all those different flavors on the table, as well as a light texture that doesn’t fill you up the way more dense breads and rolls can. These soft, puffy rolls are also great for mopping up gravy.

As you shape the rolls, you want to stretch the top of the dough ball while simultaneously sealing the bottom. The stretching helps the dough hold up to the expansion that occurs in the oven, while the sealing prevents the roll from opening up while baking and becoming wrinkled and doughy on the bottom.


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