Spiral Dinner Rolls.

I was a guest this past Thanksgiving, due to the fact that my in-laws chose to host this year.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have a break from having to entertain a house full of people, especially since last year’s festivities ended with my mom in the hospital.  This year, however, was a complete 180.  Mom is making incredible strides in her recovery.  My parents joined us for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone was amazed at how great she is doing.  It’s a huge change from just a few short months ago, and I couldn’t be more proud of her for doing something great with the second chance she’s been given.

When you’re a guest at someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner, you have to figure out how to take a step back and graciously relinquish control over the meal.  This year, instead of making some grand dessert or tasty side, I was assigned the rolls.  That’s right, rolls – the least important fixture on the Thanksgiving table, and to add to it, my last few attempts at working with yeast have been epic failures.  And not only was I in charge of making the rolls, I was given a suggestion (and handed a recipe) as to what kind of roll to make.  No way, I decided.  If I have to make these rolls, I’m making them my way, and they’re going to be the best damn rolls you’ve ever had.

I came up with a list of a few amazing sounding rolls and handed it over to the Husby, who countered “Why don’t you just make plain rolls?”  Great, another wrench in my plans.  So off I went again, in search of the perfect, plain old boring roll recipe (if such a thing were to exist).

I was about to give up and just grab a tube of Pillsbury when I came across these spiral rolls.  They were plain but also had a fabulous flair to them.  Just my style.

And, because I’m me, I may have also shown up to Thanksgiving dinner with two additional unassigned dishes: some Whiskey Glazed Carrots and a Chocolate Hazelnut Tart.

Spiral Dinner Rolls – adapted from breadbaking.about.com

  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water, about 110 degrees F
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (or 1 pkg.) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Milk, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter, room temperature
  • 3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Tbsp. Water

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), mix the warm water and yeast.  Set aside until the yeast gets bubbly, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg and butter.  Stir to combine.

Attach the dough hook to the mixer, if using.  Add the bread flour and knead for 8 minutes (10 if by hand), until the dough is firm and smooth to the touch.

Transfer dough to a medium greased bowl, and turn over so that the top gets lightly greased also.  Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours, until doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Punch down the dough and knead for a few minutes to remove any bubbles.  Divide dough into 24 equally sized balls.  Using your hands, roll each ball into an 8 inch snake and shape into a tight spiral against a flat surface.  Tuck the end piece underneath the roll.  Repeat for all dough balls.

Place the spirals on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes, until doubled in size.  Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 375.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg white and water.  Brush each roll with the mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

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