Put all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, into a bread machine. After the 1st rising, take the dough out and press down on it with your hands to deflate it. If you are making plain rolls, divide the dough into 8 portions.
I usually make 4 plain rolls that are about 65 g each, and 8 chocolate chip rolls of about 35 g each.
Fold each portion of dough over itself four times and form into rolls. Line up on a work surface seam side down. Mist lightly, cover loosely with plastic film, and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Push down on each roll to deflate again (top dough in photo), fold onto itself four times to shape into rolls (middle), and twist closed (bottom).
For the version with chocolate chips, put some chocolate chips on a flattened piece of dough (top dough in photo), fold onto itself four times to form a ball (middle), and twist closed (bottom).
For the plain white rolls: dust a chopstick or a blunt table knife with flour, and press firmly down in the middle of each roll. This is optional.
Line the rolls up on a baking sheet lined with kitchen parchment paper, mist lightly and cover loosely with plastic film. Leave to rise (2nd rising) at about body temperature. The photo shows the rolls before the 2nd rising.
After about 30 minutes, when the rolls have risen up to about twice their original size, dust them with some bread flour (not listed in ingredients) using a tea strainer. Bake for 12 minutes at 170°C and they're done.
After 12 minutes they'll be lightly tanned on the outside (although they are delicious). If you want the rolls to be white, check them after 9 minutes.
I baked these for 10 minutes at 160°C. If they are still unbaked inside (see step 11), cover them with foil and bake them for a bit longer.
After a day, the crust is a little wrinkled, but inside it's puffy. I think rolls that shrink may not be baked enough, so please adjust the baking time and temperature.
I love the chocolate chip version. They disappear as soon as as I bake them in our house. Please give them a try.
This is how they look when sliced in half the next day. They are moist, soft and easy to turn into sandwiches.
For breakfast: spread margarine and mustard on the rolls, and make ham, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches.
For bentos: spread margarine on the rolls, and make sandwiches with teriyaki chicken, lettuce and mayonnaise.
I made sea otter shaped bread using the chocolate chip dough. (Recipe ID: 847620)
Story Behind this Recipe
I love these white bread rolls, and bake them almost every week. I tried many things such as adding honey or cake flour, but I've settled on this recipe since it's easy to remember and the dough is easy to handle.
When forming the rolls, if you make sure the surface is taught, the rolls will bake up nicely. For the second rising, see how much the dough rises rather than relying on the time it takes. Even in the same oven, the rolls may bake up differently depending on various circumstances. Please adjust the baking time and temperature accordingly.