What's more festive on your holiday table than this tree-shaped cluster of dinner rolls? This recipe is not only festive but so simple to make. There is an hour and a half rise time to consider but the rest is easy and fun to create.
This recipe is a pantry cleaner. I used up lots of little baggies full of seeds and nuts. Leftover pepitas, sunflower seeds, pistachio dust, everything spice mix, fennel seeds, sunflower seeds and applewood smoked salt all became toppings for the rolls.
I started out with a specific topping idea, originally wanting to use up some homemade everything mix. When I started pulling ingredients out of my cabinets, I suddenly lost my dang mind and created a crazy quilt of toppings.
You don't have to top the rolls with anything at all. Just brush the tops with milk or a beaten egg before baking and serve the bread naked.
What a beautiful way to bring holiday spirit and deliciousness to your Christmas dinner table.
Rise time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Yield: 16 rolls
- 3+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 cup lukewarm milk, plus two tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chopped nuts (optional)
- Whisk together the flour and yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment.
- Combine the melted butter and milk and add to the dry ingredients.
- Add the sugar, salt, 1 egg and knead into a smooth dough.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for a few turns.
- Place it back in the bowl, recover the bowl with the dishcloth and place it back in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal portions (use a kitchen scale if you want to be precise.)
- Lay the dough balls out on the baking sheet in a tree form. Starting at the top, place them in rows of 1, 2, 3,4 and 5. Use the last ball to form the stem, gently pulling it out into a longer shape.
- Cover the baking sheet with the dishcloth and let it stand in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush the dough with the tablespoon of milk. Sprinkle poppy seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, etc. over the tops of the rolls if desired.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.
Looking for other dinner roll recipe ideas? Try these:
Left to right:
Left to right: