With the year drawing to a close, it’s time to give one final shout-out to our
2016 Recipe of the Year, No-Knead Crusty White Bread.
We’ve made the dough from this versatile recipe into artisan loaves, and pizza
crust. We’ve created loaves stuffed with cheddar and jalapeño, or studded with golden
raisins and rolled in cinnamon-sugar. We’ve even showed you how to freeze the dough
and how to make a version with whole wheat flour.
And now, with holiday parties looming, it’s time to make a big batch of no-knead
sandwich rolls the quick and easy way, of course.
There’s no simpler holiday spread than a basket of rolls and a platter of deli
meats and cheeses, with an array of complementary condiments and sides.
No-knead dinner rolls start with a big bucket of dough in the fridge. It’s best
to let the dough chill for several days, so make it ahead, then shape and bake rolls
right before you need them. Fresh, warm, crusty, perfect and perfectly easy.
3 cups lukewarm water
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, or the bowl of a 7-quart stand
Let the dough rise, covered, for one to two hours at room temperature.
Chill it up to seven days. Cover the bowl or bucket securely, and refrigerate
the dough for at least two hours, or for up to seven days. The longer you keep
it in the fridge, the tangier it’ll get; if you chill it for seven days, it’ll
taste like sourdough.
When you’re ready to make rolls, take the dough out of the fridge. Pull
a bit away from the side of the container see those strands? That’s gluten,
the elastic network of flour and water that’ll turn the dough into high-rising
First, decide what size rolls you want to make. Sliders? Sandwiches? "Sub"
Divide the dough: A 2-ounce piece of dough (a bit smaller than a large egg)
will make a nice little slider roll, like that pictured at the top of this post.
Shape the rolls: A 4- to 4 1/2-ounce piece of dough (about the size of an
Italian sausage) makes a nice, crusty 5" to 6" sub roll. Three ounces of dough,
shaped into an oval, risen, and baked, makes a 3 3/4" to 4" sandwich roll.
Place the rolls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving
a couple of inches between them.
Coat the rolls with flour: Sieve a thin layer of flour over the rolls. This
will help keep them moist as they rise, and also enhance their appearance once
Let the rolls warm to room temperature and rise; this should take about
60 minutes (or longer, up to a couple of hours, if your house is cool). They
won’t appear to rise upward that much; rather, they’ll seem to settle and expand.
Heat your oven to 450 degrees F while the rolls rise. Place a shallow
metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) on the lowest oven rack,
and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go.
Place the pan of rolls into the oven and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water
into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. It’ll bubble and steam; close the
oven door quickly. This steam will help the rolls rise high, and add a tiny
bit of sheen to their crust.
Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
Pull the hot rolls out of the oven. Let them cool slightly if desired
on a rack, or right on the pan. Or rip right into them if you just can’t wait.
So, exactly how many rolls does this entire batch of dough make? ONE of the following
• 28 small (slider) rolls; or 19 medium (sandwich) rolls; or 13 large
(sub) rolls; or an assortment: eight small rolls, six medium rolls, and four
No-knead sandwich rolls: a tasty variation
Let’s add crunch and flavor to our next batch of rolls, shall we?
A seeded crust makes crunchy, yummy rolls. Here’s how the pros in our bakery
seed their rolls:
Soak a smooth cotton towel, wring it out, and place a pile of seeds in the center.
Add rolls, rolling them gently in the seeds until fully covered.
Here’s my go-to seed blend: flax, toasted sesame, black caraway, midget sunflower,
poppy, and anise seeds. GREAT flavor and crunch!
Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let them rise. Bake as