Take your bread rolls to the next level and have fun in the kitchen by shaping them into fancy dinner rolls. These pretty rolls are perfect for any special family dinner or occasion.
These shapes are easy to master once you have the knack of shaping the bread into neat balls or ropes.
Start by making up a batch of basic white bread which you will find in my How to make great bread post along with plenty of tips for successful bread making.
One quantity of the basic white bread dough will make about 10 fancy dinner rolls. Allow the dough to have its first rise before knocking back and shaping your bread rolls.
Divide into 10 equal pieces. You can do this by eye but for completely uniform sized rolls use a scale to weighand portion out your pieces of dough perfectly.
How to make bread rolls into fancy shapes
Basic Round Bread Roll
To form a basic round bread roll, take one piece of dough and cup your hand tightly over the dough and roll it on a lightly floured work surface in a circular motion pressing down lightly as you do so then gradually lifting and opening up your hand as the dough forms a neat ball.
Divide one portion of dough into three equal pieces and roll into balls as above. Place the three balls touching each other together on the baking sheet so that they join together as they rise.
Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten into a round about 1cm (½in) thick. Snip cuts with a pair of scissors around the edge.
Other shapes from rounds of dough
Make a mini cottage loaf - Break off about ⅓ of the portion of dough and roll each piece into balls. Place the larger piece on the baking sheet and dmapen the top slightly. Place the smaller ball on top and press down well with your little finger.
Parker House Roll
Shape into a ball and flatten to into an oval shape about 1cm (½in) thick. Brush the top with oil, fold in half and push down with the heel of your hand. Parker house rolls are usually made with an enriched dough made with milk and soft and buttery.
Roll dough into a long rope and wind round in a sprial, tuck the end of the the rope under to stop it unrolling.
Roll the dough into a long rope and fold in half. Twist to form a spiral then pinch the open end together.
For a twisted roll make a long thin twist then roll up the twist in a spiral in the same way as the snail.
Divide each portion of dough into three equal pieces. Pinch together at one end. Plait the strands by taking alternate outside ropes and lifting over the centre rope. Pinch together at end. Tuck the ends under slightly as you place on the baking sheet.
Roll the dough into a rope and tie a single knot. Place on a baking sheet so that the roll sits on one end of the rope and the other end of the rope is on top.
Roll the portion of dough into a log rope and form into a figure of eight pushing the ends of the rope through the holes.
Finishing the dinner rolls
Once all the rolls have been made and have been placed on a baking sheet, allowing enough room for them to double in size. Cover loosely (I place the whole tray in a new pedal bin liner but you can also cover loosely with oiled cling wrap) and allow to rise.
To compete the rolls brush with lightly beaten egg mixed with a little water and sprinkle with seeds if desired.
Bake in a preheated oven 230℃ (210℃ fan)/450°F/gas mark 8 for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and the rolls sound hollow when tapped.
Fancy Dinner (bread) Rolls
- stand mixer + dough hook (optional)
- baking sheet
- 1 batch basic white bread dough
- flour for dusting
- egg wash
- poppy, sesame or caraway seeds (optional)
- Make the dough as directed and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 ½ hours).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, knock back and turn out onto a work surface. Lightly knead, then divide into 10 equal pieces.
- Shape the rolls as desired and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour until well risen.
- Preheat the oven to 230℃ (210℃ fan)/450°F/gas mark 8. Brush with beaten egg wash, to glaze and sprinkle with a few seeds if desired.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and the rolls sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.