2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm whole milk (about 95°F)
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (21 g) honey
To prepare the dough, place the flour, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk to combine. Add the butter, egg, and milk, and mix by hand (with a large mixing spoon or Danish whisk) until just combined. Then, place in the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky, but should be smooth and stretchy. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top to your proofing bucket). Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 5 days.
To use the dough the same day it is made, after making the dough, set the covered dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment to allow it to rise to double its size (about 1 hour). Once it has doubled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until it is chilled. This will make it much easier to handle. Then, continue with the rest of the recipe instructions.
When you’re ready to bake, line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside. Turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and using a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly until it’s smoother. Fold the dough over on itself, and knead again, sprinkling very very lightly with more flour only as essential to prevent sticking. Do not work too much additional flour into the dough or you will lower the hydration ratio and the dough will not rise properly.
On a lightly-floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 6-inch x 8-inch rectangle, a bit more than 1/2-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or metal bench scraper, cut out 12 approximately 2-inch squares of dough, each with 4 very blunt edges. Place the rolls about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free location to rise until nearly doubled in size (about 45 minutes, but rising time will vary greatly depending upon the rising environment).
As the dough is nearing the end of its final rise, preheat your oven to 350°F. Once the dough has finished rising, place the 3 tablespoons unsalted butter and honey in a small, heat-safe bowl, and heat in a short burst in the microwave or in a double boiler until melted. Mix the honey and butter together well, uncover the rolls, and brush each generously but carefully with the honey butter. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the tops of the rolls are lightly golden brown (about 12 minutes). Remove the rolls from the oven and brush once more with the honey butter before serving warm. Store any leftovers, once completely cooled, in a tightly sealed freezer-safe bag in the freezer. Refresh very briefly in the microwave before serving.
Adapted from my recipe from GFOAS Bakes Bread for Hawaiian Rolls. Originally published on the blog in 2014. Method unchanged, some photos and video new, some text new.