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THANKSGIVING SIDES: Recipe for cider house butter rolls

10/22/2014 11:23 EDT | Updated 12/22/2014 05:59 EST
We all have parts of the Thanksgiving dinner that we're willing to outsource. Canned cranberry sauce thrives for this reason.

But we believe fresh dinner rolls should not be one of those items. Hot-from-the-oven rolls are just too delicious for us to be willing to settle for purchased. And they are too essential to the overall meal. After all, you need something wonderful to mop up all that gravy.

So we created these easy-to-make dinner rolls that are inspired by buttery parkerhouse rolls, but are spiced and sweetened with a bit of fresh apple cider that has been boiled down to a syrup. You won't regret carving out a little extra time to make these rolls.

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CIDER HOUSE BUTTER ROLLS

Start to finish: 3 hours (25 minutes active)

Servings: 24

1 quart apple cider

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/4 cup honey

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

4 cups all-purpose flour

Kosher salt

10 tablespoons room temperature butter, divided

In a large, deep saute pan over medium-high heat, bring the cider to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1/2 cup.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium, scald the meat by heating it just until tiny bubbles form (about 180 F). Set it and the cider aside to cool until just warm.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the milk, yeast and honey and whisk together. Add the egg yolks, whole egg, flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, the cider reduction and 4 tablespoons of the butter. Fit the mixer with the dough hook, then knead on low for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Work in additional flour if necessary to form a soft dough.

Cover the bowl and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 2 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll each piece into a snake, about 24 inches long. Using a rolling pin, flatten the snake until it is 3 inches wide. Spread 2 tablespoons of the remaining softened butter over piece of dough.

Fold the dough in half so that the two long sides touch and enclose the butter. Cut each length of dough into twelve 3-inch pieces. Arrange the pieces on their sides on the prepared baking sheet. The pieces may overlap a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until puffy, 30 to 40 minutes.

Approaching the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 350 F.

Bake the pan of rolls until golden brown and an internal temperature reads 200 F, about 20 to 25 minutes. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush over the tops of the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 210 calories; 90 calories from fat (43 per cent of total calories); 11 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 3 g protein; 150 mg sodium.

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