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Let's make some rolls

Cutting rolls with scissors As much fun as it is to make bread, many people prefer rolls, so from time to time the question is raised, "how do I make rolls?" And, it's easy. If you have a recipe that makes bread you like, it will make rolls you like. There are many kinds of rolls you can make, and we'll discuss a few here.

The basic idea is to divide the dough into smaller amounts and bake it for a shorter amount of time.

Cloverleaf rolls

There are two easy way to make these. Both use muffin pans. The "right" way - once your dough has doubled, punch it down, knead it a bit, and then roll it into 1/2 ounce balls. Drop three balls into each opening in a muffin pan.

The "omigoodnesscompany's coming" way - Cutting rolls with scissors once your dough has doubled, punch it down, knead it a bit, and then roll the Cutting rolls with scissors dough into 1 1/2 to 2 ounce balls and drop one into each opening in the muffin pan. Then use a clean pair of kitchen scissors to cut each ball into quarters.

The "right way" is aesthetically superior, but both work, and they do taste the same. Once you have a pan of rolls, cover them, and let them double. You can brush them with an egg wash or butter before baking. Bake at about 375 for 15 minutes or so. Usually, you don't want rolls to have a bullet-proof crust, just enough to be enjoyable, not enough to mandate a trip to the dentist.

Butterflake Rolls

Once your dough has competed its first rise, punch it down, knead it a bit, and let it rest for half an hour or so. Then roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 9 x 14 x 1/4 inches. The 1/4 inch measurement is the critical one. If you make a larger or smaller batch of dough, adjust the 9 and 14 inch sizes as needed.

Brush the top of the dough with melted butter, and cut the dough into five strips about 9 x 1 1/4 x 1/4 inch. Stack the strips, and then cut the stacks into 1 1/2 inch stacks. Place the stacks, brushed with butter, cut side down, into buttered Muffin tins. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Crescent Rolls

No, these aren't croissants. These are Crescent rolls. They're a whole lot easier than croissants.

Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down, knead it a bit, cover it, and let it rest for 1/2 an hour or so. Then on a floured surface roll it into a circle about 9 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Brush the top with melted butter, and cut the dough into six conical sections. Roll the cones into crescents, starting from the outer edge and working your way in. Put on a cookie sheet, and bake about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 375F.