Slow-Rise, No-Knead Soft White (Or Soft Light Wheat) Rolls

READY IN: 50mins
YIELD: 24 rolls




  • For the first stage:
  • Thoroughly combine the flour or flours, salt and yeast in a 3- to 4-quart or larger bowl; mix with a large spoon.
  • Add the water, stirring vigorously until evenly incorporated. Use a greased flexible spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Drizzle the dough top with about 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil (no need to measure); use a pastry brush or your fingertips to spread it evenly over the dough and up the sides of the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at a room temperature of about 70 degrees or cooler for 12 to 18 hours.
  • For the second stage:
  • Use a fork to beat together 6 tablespoons melted butter, the sugar and powdered milk in a medium bowl until well blended.
  • Beat in the egg until well incorporated.
  • Vigorously stir the mixture into the raised dough until it deflates and the ingredients are well blended; the dough will seem rubbery.
  • Vigorously stir in the 1 1/4 cups flour until thoroughly incorporated.
  • (Second-stage mixing may be completed in a heavy-duty stand mixer, if desired.
  • Transfer the raised dough to the mixer bowl; complete the mixing steps on low speed using the paddle.).
  • Generously grease 12 “Texas-size” muffin tin cups or 24 standard-size muffin cups, or coat them thoroughly with nonstick cooking oil spray.
  • Using a well-greased 1/4-cup measure for large muffin cups and a 1/8-cup measure (or coffee scoop) for small muffin cups, place a scoopful of dough in each cup.
  • Divide any leftover dough evenly among the cups.
  • Use 2 tablespoons total of the melted butter to drizzle over all the roll tops.
  • (Use your fingertips to spread out the butter and smooth each top until the dough surface looks smooth. Sift a little flour over each cup; cover the muffin tins with plastic wrap.
  • For a “regular” rise:
  • Let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 to 1 3/4 hours or until the dough nearly reaches the cup rims.
  • (The time will vary considerably depending on the temperature of the room and the length of the first rise.)
  • Remove the plastic wrap. Let stand until the dough rises just above the rims.
  • For a “quick” rise:
  • Fill a microwave-safe container with 1 cup of the water and set it far to one side of the microwave oven.
  • Microwave on high for about 2 minutes, until the water almost boils.
  • Put a muffin tin in the microwave oven as far from the water as possible.
  • Let rise 30 to 45 minutes or until the dough nears the cup rims.
  • Remove the plastic wrap. Let stand until the dough rises just above the rims.
  • To bake:
  • Position an oven rack in the middle third of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees.
  • Gently transfer the muffin pans to the middle oven rack; jarring can cause deflating.
  • Bake about 15 to 18 minutes for smaller rolls and 17 to 21 minutes for larger rolls or until well browned on top and hollow sounding when thumped with a finger.
  • Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool just slightly, then run a knife around the rolls to loosen.
  • Sift a little flour over the rolls just before serving, if desired. The rolls are best served warm.