Quarantine Cuisine: How Richmond Station chef Josh Morin makes his buttery, pull-apart dinner rolls
We’re asking Toronto chefs to show us what they cook up using basic pantry supplies while they self-isolate at home
Like many of us, chef Josh Morin is confined to his home. We asked the social-distancing chef to whip us up a meal with ingredients he already had on hand. His recipe: his decadent dinner rolls, perfect for family holiday feasts (even if they’re over Zoom).
According to the recent increase in flour and yeast sales, it appears that everyone in self-isolation is channeling their inner baker. And why not? There’s something about kneading dough that soothes the soul—and the stomach.
Morin’s dinner roll recipe was inspired by his family’s holiday feasts. And what with it being Easter weekend, he wanted to recreate some of that nostalgic magic. Morin says the super-fluffy and butter rolls are the perfect companion to just about anything else you’re serving—also and they mop up any leftover sauce like a boss. “Honestly, there’s nothing quite as satisfying than fresh homemade bread straight out of the oven,” says Morin. “And it smells wonderful, too.”
If you want to get fancy with this recipe, Morin says you can opt to add a half cup of shredded aged cheddar cheese or minced garlic into the melted butter, and top with grated parmesan right before baking. The wee buns also make excellent vessels for, say, leftover turkey or ham with a dollop of grainy mustard.
Above all else, Morin says that the keys to making these rolls is to exercise a little bit of patience and to have fun with it. “The process of making bread is the best part of the entire experience,” he says. This recipe makes 15 rolls. Store any leftovers in a sealed container and keep them on the countertop for up to two days (but they also freeze well).
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup whole milk
1 large egg
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
Flaky sea salt
Extra melted butter (for greasing the pan)
Heat the milk and sugar until just warm, around 110°F. Add yeast and let bloom for 8 to 10 minutes. If you have a kitchen thermometer, it will come in handy for this, otherwise, use a (clean) finger to touch the mixture. It should feel warm to the touch but not hot.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg, olive oil and milk/yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
Add the flour and the salt to the bowl of the stand mixer. With a dough hook attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer your dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit to proof in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size. This should take about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down.
Divide it into 15 equal-sized portions. Working with one piece at a time, roll each portion into a ball.
Brush a cast iron pan with melted butter.
Now space your dough balls in a spiral around the pan, leaving about a ½ inch of space in between each.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to proof again until they have doubled in size. This should take about 30 minutes.
Brush each dough ball with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
Eat them hot and slathered with lots of butter.