The only other part of my Thanksgiving feast that I managed to get picture of (only because I made them 4 days in advance when I wasn't going crazy yet) were the dinner rolls. I am slowly starting to get my sea legs in the world of bread baking, and now that I have a bread machine to do the dirty work for me, it is becoming much more approachable.
I use my bread machine just for the dough preparation, and then let it rise, proof, and bake outside of the machine. I just don't like the shape and consistency of the bread that comes out of there, and I feel like I have much more control outside of the machine. That said, it consistently puts out a perfectly kneaded ball of dough, and that I am thankful for.
I found these rolls on the blog 'A Bread A Day'. I am a big fan of this site, is it a great resource for basic and unique breads alike. This roll is a really standard butter and milk dinner roll, made fancy by plopping three little balls of dough into muffin tins. Easy as that! They are light and fluffy, and pull apart to make lots of surface area for whatever you are slathering on there (more butter).
adapted from A Bread A Day
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/8 cups lukewarm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for brushing on top of baked rolls
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk (if you can't find dry milk like me, just substitute one cup of water in the recipe for one cup of milk)
1/2 cup instant potato flakes (yeah I thought that was weird too, but turns out, its very common and helps make a light and fluffy bread)
Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar. Let sit for about 15 minutes until it is bubbly and has expanded.
Combine the yeast with the remainder of the ingredients (only use 1 cup of water - or milk if you are not using dry milk- since you used 1/8 cup water to dissolve the yeast in) in the bowl of your bread machine or stand mixer. Put it on the dough setting and as soon as it forms a smooth ball stop the machine.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough around so that the oil coats all sides of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and let it rise for about an hour, until it has doubled in size. My grandma swears by letting the dough rise twice in the bowl, and she makes AMAZING buns, so that is what I did. Punch the dough down gently to deflate, turn it upside down, cover, and let it double in size again about another 1 - 1.5 hours.
Lightly grease 1 12-cup muffin tin or 2 6-cup tins. Gently deflate your dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased surface. Divide the dough in 12 equal pieces. Take one piece and divide it into thirds. Shape each third into a ball and place the three balls into a muffin cup. Repeat for the remaining 11 pieces.
Cover the pans with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap and let proof for about an hour, until they are quite puffy. When they are ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the rolls until they are light golden brown, about 25 minutes. When they are just about done, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Remove the rolls from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Let the rolls cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
I made these a few days ahead of time, wrapped in tinfoil and put in a freezer bag, and froze until the day I was serving them. When dinner rolled around, I popped them back into their muffin tins and reheated them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. It was almost like I had baked them that day (shush don't tell anyone that I didn't).