Makes 14 rolls
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C)
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm whole milk (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C)
  • 8 tablespoons (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 4½ teaspoons (14 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4¼ cups (531 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 3½ teaspoons (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • Topping (recipe follows)
  1. In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, warm milk, 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups (250 grams) flour, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons (88 grams) sugar. Add warm milk mixture, melted butter, eggs, and extract. Using the dough hook attachment, beat at low speed until combined. Add 2 cups (250 grams) flour, and beat until dough comes together, 1½ to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium. Beat until dough is tacky, smooth, and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. (Check dough using the windowpane test [see Note] between additions of flour. Too much flour will make it harder to shape and will create a denser final crumb). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Punch down dough, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 14 portions (about 72 grams each), and roll into smooth balls. Flatten each ball into a 3-inch round, and place on prepared pans.
  6. Slice Topping logs into 7 (1-inch) portions. Roll into smooth balls. Place each ball between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and roll into a 3½ -inch circle. (Alternatively, roll out Topping between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a 3½ -inch round cutter, cut Topping, rerolling scraps as necessary.) Place on top of rolls. Using a small sharp paring knife, carefully cut desired design into Topping, leaving a ¼-inch border around edges. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, about 30 minutes.
  7. Position oven rack in top third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Bake until topping is just beginning to brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers at least 190°F (88°C), about 12 minutes. Let cool on pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
To use the windowpane test to check dough for proper gluten development, pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute, and test again.
Recipe by Bake from Scratch at