Tutorial: Shaping Perfect Rolls

Update: Here is a new and improved video tutorial on shaping these dinner rolls (with a section on shaping hamburger and hot dog buns, too). Happy roll rolling!

I promised in the tutorial on yeast that I would post about shaping perfect rolls.

Occasionally, I use a crescent shape for rolls, especially these Lion House rolls, but for almost every other roll recipe, I use the method below. It ensures perfectly round, beautiful rolls.

After my dough has gone through the first rise,
dough proofing in a glass bowl

I take the dough out of the bowl and place it on the greased plastic wrap that was covering the bowl. Then, I take my handy-dandy bench scraper/cutter tool and slice off pieces of dough to shape into rolls.
cutting dough in pieces

If I am being really precise, I use my kitchen scale to make sure that each piece of dough is about the same size – for an average size dinner roll, I use pieces of dough that weigh about 2 ounces each.
weighing a pice of dough on a food scale

Using my savvy technical knowledge (not! please don’t dwell on how the camera is unsteady), I videotaped my method for shaping the dough into round, smooth balls.

Once all the pieces have been shaped into rolls, I cover the baking sheet with greased plastic wrap. You’ll notice I have a silpat liner on my baking sheet. If you don’t have a silpat or prefer not to use one (the horror!), lightly grease the baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
rolls rising on a sheet pan covered with saran wrap

Once the rolls have doubled in size and puffed beautifully, they are ready to be baked.
rolls rising on a sheet pan

Here is the finished product. Golden, lovely, perfect rolls ready to be devoured.
baked rolls on a sheet pan