No stand mixer, no knead, no special equipment required. These No Knead Dinner Rolls are perfectly soft and fluffy and are astonishingly effortless to make. Just combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon – that’s it!
Bread is my #1 Deserted Island Food*.
Actually, “bread and butter” is my top choice. I say it really fast “bread ‘n’ butter”, and declare that it counts as one food. Despite jeering by whoever I’m playing the game with.
So the day I discovered how to make no knead bread was a game changer. GAME CHANGER.
* The Deserted Island Food game is often a topic of conversation at dinner parties I am present at, usually after a few wines and usually because it’s me who initiates it. The game is to go around the table and for everyone to name the top 3 foods they would take to a Deserted Island to live on forever. You do not have to worry about nutrition and no one puts on weight on my island. And despite much pressure, I stand firm that you are unable to grow, catch or kill anything on this island. You can, however, trade foods with other people on your island. So choose your friends wisely.
These No Knead Dinner Rolls will BLOW YOUR MIND!!! Every single time I make these, I am in utter awe of how quick it is to make the dough, and how amazingly soft and fluffy they are. They are in every way just as good as classic dinner rolls, made by kneading the dough by hand (tired arms, tired arms!) or using a stand mixer. I truly believe to my very core that only those with a refined palette and/or baking experts can tell the difference between these No Knead Dinner Rolls and traditional kneaded-tired-arms dinner rolls.
In the interest of being completely open and honest, here are the differences that I notice between kneaded dinner rolls and these No Knead Dinner Rolls:
- The kneaded rolls stay a wee bit more moist for longer. ie. they are slightly better the next day compared to the No Knead ones. But actually, homemade bread, muffins etc, being preservative free that they are, are always best consumed fresh so I don’t see this as a major disadvantage. Neither the kneaded nor No Knead rolls are great the next day. They lose their moisture and both need to be warmed up before serving to make them moist again. It is just that with the kneaded ones you could possibly get away with not warming up (but they aren’t great), whereas the No Knead ones definitely need warming up;
- Kneaded rolls rise a wee bit more. Not noticeable for normal people, and you’d never say the No Knead ones aren’t soft and fluffy. They are, they really are. It’s just that the kneaded ones rise a touch more with the same amount of yeast.
In terms of the prep, the batter is literally a dump-and-mix job. There is a major difference in rise time compared to kneaded dough which can rise in 30 – 45 minutes for the 1st rise, then around the same for the 2nd rise after forming the rolls. For these No Knead Dinner Rolls, the dough is much wetter than kneaded dough, so it takes longer to rise. 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on how warm it is where you are. If you use my ridiculous-but-effective tip of rising the dough in your (empty! warm!) dryer, it takes 1.5 hours. 🙂 (See recipes notes for details)
You can see in these photos how different the dough is compared to traditional bread dough. It’s not knead-able, it’s way too sticky. It’s almost more like a muffin batter!
Quick little tip: To get a beautiful golden surface, the dough needs to be rolled tightly and smoothly into balls. With sticky dough, this is tough to do. So here’s my work around: Press the dough down lightly, then bundle it up like a money-bag (mmm…Thai Money Bags…). Flip it over and you have a nice smooth surface with the dough stretched tightly = smooth golden surface. ?? I demo this in the recipe video too (below recipe).
Awesome Make Ahead Tip! Another big bonus for these rolls: you can roll the dough into rolls then refrigerate overnight (uncooked) and bake them fresh when you’re ready to serve! It’s quite amazing actually, I wasn’t sure it would work but it does.
Easter is coming up! That’s why I decided to squeeze these in so soon after sharing Hot Cross Buns (which you can make using this No Knead technique, the recipe is in that post). I know some people think baking with yeast is daunting. But I swear to you, watch the video. See how soft and irresistible these rolls come out. And be prepared to be blown away by how easy these are to make!
Carb Monsters unite! – Nagi xx
PS In case you interested – because this is critical information, after my #1 Deserted Island Food of “bread ‘ n butter” (counts as 1 food item), #2 is cheese (all cheeses in this big wide world) and #3 is French Champagne (the really good stuff). Who wants to be on MY Deserted Island? And more importantly:
??WHAT ARE YOUR DESERTED ISLAND FOODS??❤️
These soft dinner rolls are like magic! Just mix the ingredients in a bowl - no kneading, no stand mixer, no special ingredients required. These are soft, fluffy and moist, nicely salted with a touch of sweet. This requires 2 hrs 15 minutes+ rise time. RECIPE VIDEO below, plus see the Cinnamon Rolls version!
- 1 tbsp dry yeast (Note 1)
- 55 g / 1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar), or sub with normal white sugar
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml warm water (Note 2)
- 600 g / 20 oz bread flour (4 1/2 US Cups, 4 Cups everywhere else exc Japan)+ extra for dusting (can use all purpose / plain flour) (Note 3)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup / 250 ml milk, lukewarm, whole or low fat, (Note 2)
- 50 g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten with fork
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
Place the yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a medium bowl, then pour in water. Leave for 5 minutes until it froths.
Place flour, remaining sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine.
Make a well in the centre. Add milk, butter, eggs and pour in the yeast liquid, including all froth.
Mix until combined with wooden spoon - it will be like a thick muffin batter. Not pourable, but thick and sticky.
Leave dough in the bowl, cover with a wet (clean) tea towel and place in a warm place (25C/77F+) to rise for around 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until almost tripled in volume. See Note 4 for how I do this (you will laugh - but it works every time!). Dough surface should be bubbly (see video or photos in post).
Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm / 9 x 13" tray with baking paper with overhang.
Remove tea towel and punch dough to deflate, then mix briefly in the bowl to get rid of the bubbles in the dough.
Dust work surface with flour, scrape dough on work surface. Dust top of dough then shape into a log. Cut log into 4 pieces, then cut each piece into 3 pieces (12 in total).
Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, flip (so smooth side is up) then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that's how I get a nice smooth surface on my roll. (For this step, use as much flour as needed to handle dough and avoid piercing inside into the wet dough)
Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
Spray surface of rolls (or cling wrap) with oil (any), then place cling wrap over the tray.
Return tray to warm place and leave for 30 - 45 min, until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).
Partway through Rise #2, preheat oven to 200C/390F (standard) or 180C/350F (fan/convection).
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until the surface is a golden brown and the roll in the centre sounds hollow when tapped. The surface colour is the best test for this recipe.
Remove rolls from oven. Brush with melted butter.
Use overhang to lift rolls onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool to warm before serving.
1. 1 tbsp dry yeast = 9 grams. I use Lowan Dried Instant Yeast (red tube, sold at Woolies/Coles baking aisle) which technically doesn't need to be frothed before using but there's no harm in doing it, and I do it out of habit + also because then the same steps apply to any dried yeast.
If you are using the packets, you can just use 2 x 7 g sachets, that is 4 1/2 tsp which is slightly more than 1 tablespoon but it works just fine. Doesn't taste yeasty and makes it rise a touch more. Otherwise, measure out 1 tablespoon.
If your yeast doesn't go frothy, sorry to say it's not active so your buns won't rise.
To use fresh yeast (comes in a block that crumbles, not powder like dry yeast), use 27g/ 0.9 oz. You don't actually need to dissolve it in liquid like I do with the dry, but there's no harm in doing it and so for the sake of consistency, crumble it in and let stand until it foams up, same as using dry yeast.
2. Scalding hot milk and hot water kills the yeast. I heat milk for 45 seconds on high in the microwave, and use warm tap water. The test is this: stick your finger in. If it was a bath, would it be pleasant? Good. It's not too hot or too cold!
3. Breads are fluffier and slightly more tender if made with bread flour rather than normal flour (plain or all purpose). However, this recipe works great with normal white flour too.
Cups around the world differ in size. If you don't have scales to weight the flour, please use the relevant cup size. For US/Canada, use 4 1/2 cups (they are slightly different, but close enough). For rest of world other than Japan, use 4 cups of flour. For Japan, please weigh the flour.
4. WARM PLACE for dough: This is what I do all year round - use my dryer. Laugh - but try it! Run the (empty) dryer for 1 - 2 minutes, then place the bowl inside. If you do that, the dough will rise in 1.5 hours. Even if it's snowing outside!
5. SUGAR: This is not a sweet roll (I'd use 1/2 cup+ for that) but there is a touch of sweet. 1/4 cup of sugar across 12 rolls = 1 tsp per roll. You can reduce it to 2 tablespoons of sugar.
6a. MAKE AHEAD: Follow recipe up to rolling balls and cover with cling wrap. Then refrigerate for 4 hours - 24 hours (this is the 2nd rise), take them out 30 minutes before then bake!
6b. STORING: As with all homemade bread, it is best served on the day it's made. Things made using this No-Knead version doesn't keep as well as the kneaded version - dries out more. For the day after, reheating makes all the difference to make them soft and moist again - 15 sec in the microwave! These freeze great cooked, then just defrost. The dough can be frozen too but it won't rise as well (but still fluffy). To reheat batches, I pop them on a tray and cover with foil (to avoid the surface getting too crisp), then reheat at 160C/320F for 8 minutes or so. Or cut in half and toast.
6c. DOUBLING: Make double the batter in one large bowl, then divide the batter into 2 bowls for the first rise (if double the dough is in one giant bowl, may struggle to rise). Proceed with recipe and place rolls on a large tray or 2 trays, and bake them all on the same shelf in the oven.
6d. EXTREME HUMIDITY (eg. South East Asia) can make the dough stickier after the 1st rise and makes it a bit harder to form into balls. Just be generous sprinkling with flour with forming into log, cutting, rolling into balls - don't knead the flour in, use it on the surface for handling purposes only. The dough is stickier than usual kneaded dough, so the technique I demo in the video to make the rolls is specifically to minimise making contact with the sticky dough.
7. SOURCE: This recipe is adapted from various no-knead bread recipes I've come across over the years. I probably first saw it on Martha Stewart or New York Times. The recipe has been tweaked and now I firmly consider this version to be "mine"! 🙂
8. HIGH ALTITUDE: Multiple readers have now reported that this recipe worked out great! Also, varying reports on the dough seeming too dry or too wet then adjusted with more flour compared to that demonstrated in the video have all also worked out fine, proving that this recipe is actually very forgiving!
9. GLUTEN FREE: This also works with gluten free flour, though the rolls are not quite as fluffy as is usually the case when substituting GF flour. However, they are still definitely fluffy! I think you'll be amazed how well these turn out!
10. No Knead Dinner Rolls nutrition per roll. This makes 12 fairly large rolls, about the size of a baseball.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
No Knead Dinner Rolls recipe video! No laughing at the Baby Hands – you’ll cop a serious eyeful in this video!
And now there’s NO KNEAD CINNAMON ROLLS!
LIFE OF DOZER
I’m the same.