My dinner roll recipe is a very wet dough, so it spends a long time in the fridge. Once it’s removed from the fridge and I begin working with it, it will become very sticky very quickly. So, here’s how I shape it:
I prep the work surface and pan before the dough comes out of the fridge. That means:
- The surface is lightly floured, but I have a measuring cup of flour to the side just in case.
- I have a pizza cutting wheel next to the surface.
- I have the pan next to the surface.
I know I want a dozen-roll dough to be patted out into roughly a 12″ X 9″ rectangle. So, I use a bench knife to cut a rectangle that size into the center of the floured work surface, as a visual reference.
I don’t fuck around when the dough comes out – I flour my hands, pull the dough out fast and begin stretching/patting the dough into the visual reference area. There is about a two-minute window before the dough starts sticking to everything, so I don’t focus on exact measurements, just approximating the visual reference.
I use the pizza wheel to slice the dough, and eyeball the cuts to roughly the width and length of my index finger and thumb making an L shape 2″ wide, 4.5″ long. If you have big hands, measure your L shape before you pull out the dough, and adjust accordingly.
Once the cutting is done, I fold each shape into thirds and place the rolls end-down on the pan. Even when I work fast, the last pieces shaped will stick more to everything than the first, so I will flour my hands a bit more after shaping half the rolls.