How to Shape & Bake Pull-Apart Rolls | Make Bread

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RECIPE: 820 g bread flour, 20 g honey, 550 g whole milk, 18 g sea salt, 18 g fresh yeast, 100 g unsalted butter. Mix ingredients by hand (this dough will kill mixer) in bowl until dough comes together. Transfer to work surface and knead until dough passes windowpane test. Let ferment 2 hours punching down after 1st hour. After fermenting, shape into pull-apart rolls by dividing dough at 40g and round. Place rounds onto a parchment lined quarter sheet tray so that they are touching, 4 across and 5 down. Proof for 1 Â_ to two hours, brush with milk, and bake in a 350F oven about 30 min.
Now I'm going to show you how to shape pull-apart rolls. I have a 1 and 1/2 kilo batch of dough, so I'm going to dust my floured work station. I'm going to start dividing this dough and I'm doing to divide it into smaller golf ball sizes at 40 grams each. I just sort of make a row as I go and put them aside, and then I'm going to shape them all at the end. The smaller pieces are going to be shaped really tightly in this smaller pan and they will become pull-apart rolls.
And so the idea is that for the pull-apart rolls, you want to proof them, so that they're really almost touching other, and so I'm going to take each little piece, and I'm going to use two hands, but I'll show you how to shape it with one hand first. You're going to take this and turn it upside down against your work surface, and it could be a wooden surface or a metal surface, you're going to apply a lot of pressure, and you're going to roll your hand in a circle, until you have a nice little
ball.
And this dough is really great for that, because It's almost sort of like Play-Doh. When you have your ball shape, what you're going to do is you're going to fit it into a quarter-sized sheet tray. What that means is most sheet trays that you buy for home are what's called half-sized and this is simply half of that size, so it is a quarter-sized sheet tray. I've lined the outside of it with a little bit of vegetable oil and I've put a piece of parchment paper to fit into that, so that the bread doesn't stick when we're trying to unmold the bread.
So you're going to put your shaped ball right in the corner and we're going to continue shaping the balls and filling up the whole pan with these balls. They're going to be pretty much touching, and the idea behind this is that pull-apart, just basically means that the dough has sort of grown into each other, so that you have to pull it apart after it's been baked.
So I'm going to shape two at a time with my hands each rounding into each other. I'm going to put them into the pan as I go. When I'm shaping these, I'm really putting a lot of pressure. When I'm
shaping them with my hands, it's that pressure that helps the dough to sort of spring up and create a round shape. If you're a beginning home baker you can never shape too hard, in my opinion. You can always try to shape really hard, because it's hard in the beginning to understand how to get that friction and that tension in the dough.
This takes a total of 24 balls at 40 grams each. Forty grams is about an ounce and a half. You can eyeball it. It looks almost like a large golf ball. These are going to proof for about an hour and a half, and what I'm going to do, because I'm working in a really dry environment today, I'm going to take this damp towel, and this helps prevent a skin from forming on top of the rolls. Instead of using a dry towel, I'm going to use a damp towel to cover these, so they'll proof with a damp towel on them.
Okay, our pull-apart rolls have been proofing for an hour and you can see that they have grown together and are touching each other, and that's what's great about apart pull-apart rolls is that eventually the balls grow together and then you pull them apart after they come out of the oven. Because these rolls are so small, each one was about if you recall, the size of a golf ball when we shaped it. Because they are smaller pieces of dough, they don't take as long to proof, so these proofed in one hour and they're ready to go.
We can check them. I'm going to dip my finger in some flour and sort of push in on one of them. You can see that there is an indentation that's still there and so that's what we want. We want there to be an indentation. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to wash them. Because this dough was made with milk I'm going to use milk as my wash, and I'm just going to lightly brush them with milk and this milk will prevent them from drying out in the oven. I'm really brushing them with milk, because I don't want that really, really golden brown crust on the tops of these pull-apart rolls.
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