The turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the bacon-Brussels sprouts medley, the corn, the salad, the cranberry sauce… A bountiful table, for sure. But no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without fresh dinner rolls. Because what else will you use to sop up all the juices and sauces and gravies that don’t make it onto your fork?
So we created these buttery, tender seed rolls that are pull-apart delicious. They are a cross between an Italian scali bread — a light, tender bread crusted in sesame seeds — and a Portuguese sweet roll. The result is a soft, pillowy roll with a light crumb, all perfect for wiping your plate clean. The lightly sweet flavor is the perfect complement to the many savory staples Thanksgiving offers.
Sweet Sesame Dinner Rolls Start to finish: 3 hours Servings: 16 4 1/2 cups (1 pound 3 ounces) all-purpose flour 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) potato flour (also sold as potato starch) 1 tablespoon instant yeast 1/2 cup orange juice, room temperature 1/2 cup water, slightly warmed 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 3 eggs, divided 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, divided Coarse sea salt
Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, potato flour and yeast. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the ingredients in the following order: orange juice, water, butter, brown sugar, salt, the flour mixture, 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk (reserve the extra egg white for later). Mix first on the lowest speed, scraping the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated. Continue to mix on speed 2. The dough should start out very sticky, but then become cohesive after about 2 minutes. It will not clean the sides of the bowl.
Add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. Add 1/3 cup of the sesame seeds once the dough ball comes together, then knead in the mixer with the dough hook for another 5 minutes.
Remove the hook and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan; the balls should touch. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until puffy, about another hour.
Toward the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 350 F.
Once the rolls are puffy, beat the reserved egg white until frothy. Gently brush the egg white over the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and a bit of coarse salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan.
Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories; 50 calories from fat (22 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 230 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 6 g protein.
Alison Ladman is a chef, food writer and recipe developer for The Associated Press. She also owns The Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord, New Hampshire.