I am seeing big signs of fall popping up all around me. Pumpkin spice everything has already been out for weeks and I think the Halloween candy started showing up on the 5th of July. But I have to admit, I’m ready for it. I love the transition of seasons. There is just something about the changing air, the changing smells, and the changing sights that energizes me. The changes make me feel more present in the world instead of just going about my day to day mindlessly in a whirlwind.
For me, fall feels like home. It is comforting and calm. The stress of winter and the holidays hasn’t quite set in yet and the crisp air is such a relief after the heat of summer. Fall pulls me toward comfort food cooking. I want the classics. Chili, tomato soup, chicken fried steak, or some good old fashioned meatloaf. But all of those things don’t feel complete without some warm bread to accompany them. Soft, chewy, warm bread. There really isn’t much better in life.
These rolls have a slight tangy/sour flavor profile. Almost like a sourdough bread, but without the need for a sourdough starter. A very slight crust develops on the outside but the middle stays perfectly soft and pillowy. It is impossible to eat just one of these rolls. The batch makes 12, which in my book is the perfect amount for a group of 4 people. It ensures that nobody will be fighting over the last roll. That could be disastrous.
Mixing the Dough
STEP 1: To start the dough for the rolls you first need to heat the sour cream, water, and butter. Typically in a soft yeast dough you will scald the milk (in this case sour cream) in order to denature the proteins as well as to heat up the mixture so that the yeast will activate. Once the mixture is simmering, remove from the heat and allow to cool to about 110ºF.
STEP 2: Meanwhile, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer.
STEP 3: With the mixer running on slow speed with the paddle attachment, add the warm sour cream mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
STEP 4: Add the egg and the rest of the flour and mix the the dough hook on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
STEP 5: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise and ferment in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
Shaping the Dough
STEP 6: Gently press the gas out of the dough and turn out on a clean and lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
STEP 7: Take each piece of dough and pull down on the sides forming a ball with a seam on the bottom. Place the dough ball, seam side down, on the work surface. Place your hand cupped in a “C” over the piece of dough and move your hand over it in a circular motion until the ball is smooth and the seam is sealed.
STEP 8: Place the formed rolls in a greased 9X12 baking pan and allow to proof until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375ºF for 25-30 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm with cinnamon compound butter.
Soft Sour Cream Dinner Rolls
recipe adapted from Taste of Home Sour Cream Yeast Rolls, Yield: 12 Rolls
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 TBSP granulated sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce OR 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 TBSP butter, plus 2 more TBSP for brushing finished rolls
- 1 egg
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the sour cream, water and 2 tablespoons butter until just barely simmering. Remove from heat and allow to cool to about 110ºF.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
- Add the warm wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and the rest of the flour. Beat on medium high speed with the dough hook until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 6-8 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Press the gas out of the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 12 equal pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into a ball.
- Place in a greased 12×9-in. baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Melt remaining butter and brush over hot rolls.
Cinnamon Sugar Compound Butter
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.