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Overnight pan rolls

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November 19, 2007

Makes 2 dozen

To use the dough without storing it overnight, after the first rise, compress it lightly, divide and shape it, arrange in the pan, and leave to rise, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Finish the rolls by brushing and baking as directed.

YEAST

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm (105 to 110 degrees) water
1. In a bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water.

2. Set aside for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the yeast mixture is swollen.

DOUGH

Unsalted butter (for the bowl and pan)
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, preferably fine sea salt
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid (for brushing)

1. Butter a large bowl and a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set both aside.

2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, sugar, butter, and the oil. Set over medium-low heat, and warm just until the butter melts. Remove from the heat, whisk well, and transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Set aside for 8 minutes to cool to tepid.

3. Stir the eggs into the milk mixture, then blend in the yeast mixture.

4. In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups of the all-purpose flour with the whole-wheat flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let the mixture stand, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

5. Work in 1 1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Dust a work surface with a little of the remaining 1/2 cup flour and knead the dough for 8 minutes, or until it is quite smooth. Use enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that is slightly tacky to the touch.

6. Place the dough in the bowl, turn it to coat all sides in butter and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

7. Remove the dough from the bowl. Lightly compress the dough with your fingertips or a rubber spatula. Return the dough to the bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight, compressing the dough once after 5 hours.

8. To shape, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly compress it and divide it into 24 pieces. Roll each piece on the work surface. In the cupped palm of your hand, form each one into a smooth ball. Arrange the dough balls in the baking pan in 4 rows of 6. Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise at room temperature for 3 hours, or until just doubled in bulk. The rolls will merge as they rise.

9. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Discard the plastic wrap. Brush the melted butter over the top of the rolls. Bake the rolls for 35 minutes or until they retreat slightly from the sides of the pan and the tops sound hollow when gently tapped with the handle of a wooden spoon. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let stand for 20 minutes.

10. Using 2 small offset metal spatulas, detach the rolls from the pan in groups of 4 or 6 and lift them out of the pan. Serve the rolls warm or at room temperature. Lisa Yockelson

Overnight pan rolls (Wendy Maeda / Globe staff; Food styling / Karoline Boehm Goodnick)

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