The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

O'Charley's Rolls

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rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

O'Charley's Rolls

Well, I don't know how everyone feels about O'Charley's rolls, but I find them amazing. The texture is wonderful and that sweet yeasty flavor is only heightened by the honey butter that they give you. I have seen recipes using boiling water and adding the sugar, oil, and salt to that before adding your eggs and other ingredients but find that method a bit strange. Has anyone tried to clone the O'Charley's rolls? The crust on the outside is very thin but still soft. I have a recipe for yeast rolls, but was wanting to try to find a legitamate recipe for O'Charley's rolls. Maybe someone has worked there and know their method of production? Any hints or recipes would be great! I really want to perfect those little doughy balls of goodness. 

 

rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

By the way, I hope this isn't an inflammatory post. I know that some people detest bread from chain restaurants and bakery's but sometimes, at least for me, it is nice to have that familiar flavor but with the comfort of not having to leave the house. The satisfaction of replicating something in the home is quite satisfying as well. It can almost make one feel like a recipe sleuth on the hunt for that elusive recipe. LOL!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Surely there's got to be several copycat recipes with reviews "out there"?

Tried a google search, etc?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this just looks like a soft dinner roll? Much like you buy at the grocery store? 

You can try my own recipe for a soft, fluffy dinner roll, posted here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22113/breadbuns-just-kicks 

Alternately, you can try the King Arthur Soft White Dinner Rolls recipe, works pretty well for a fluffy dinner roll: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/soft-white-dinner-rolls-recipe.

The key to thin, tender crust is low baking temp with no steam.

The key to pillowy soft interior is twofold:

1. LONG knead times to achieve a smooth, silky satiny dough before the 1st rise. In most home mixers (like KitchenAid) this means around 10 minutes at speed #4. 

2. Some enrichment: milk, butter, eggs, shortening, oil...some combination of proteins and fats will keep the crumb tender. In the King Arthur recipe, dry milk, butter and potato flakes all serve to "tenderize" the crumb. 

 

rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

I did a Google search before I posted and didn't really like any of the recipes. They start by boiling the water and adding the sugar and oil to that then integrating the other ingredients, eggs flour yeast etc. I just know that the rolls are very sweet, almost dessert like. I suppose they brush them with the honey butter after they come out of the oven instead of actually incorporating a large amount of sugar in the dough since high sugar amounts can retard rise times and I figure that they ate only a single rise dough since they serve so many and it's a chain restaurant. Anyone worked where they served yeast rolls? I figure at most restaurants speed is a huge factor in dough management and that signature yeasty flavor. Thanks for the replies, maybe someone can chime in on the dough management at O'Charleys. 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

In many cases, the rolls may be frozen. I came across a post that said O'Charley's rolls are made with frozen dough. Not a surprise, many chains (like Subway) do this. (FYI, this was confirmed in some other post by a former O'Charley's employee). I'm sure you could call a restaurant and find out if they use frozen dough. 

See: http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/O'Charley's_(CHUX)/Commissary  : 

'We have also outsourced the manufacture of the frozen dough used in our O’Charley’s signature yeast rolls'

Try the recipe I posted or the King Arthur recipe; if they're not like you want, you can add more sweetener. If the texture or crust aren't what you want after you make them, post back and the nice people at TFL will can give you suggestions to get them where you want them to be. 

rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

Thank you so much for that information. I have dealt with freezing dough over at Pizzamaking.com in attempting to replicate Mellow Mushroom dough and their handling process. I may whip up a batch of the KA dough, bake half, and freeze the rest for a week or so and then bake with it. I am not sure how this will affect the outcome but with trying to replicate as close as possible I feel that may be key to texture. I know that freezing can actually degrade yeast a bit, but I don't know if this is true or whether it will affect flavor and texture in the end, because I know it really didn't change my Mellow Mushroom attempts that much and they contained a good bit of sugar as well through the use of molasses. I'll get back with you guys ASAP with the results and if anyone has anymore great information like cranbo please let me hear it! Thanks again, Cory.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Good point. The freezing process may lead you to the desired flavor and outcome you're looking for. Here's a perfect example: a guy deconstructed McDonalds' french fries and found freezing to be key to the texture he was looking for.

There's a number of adjustments you may have to make when freezing your dough. You will have a somewhat longer fermentation time (due to defrosting) so you may have to adjust your yeast levels. 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I find these rolls just a bit too sweet for my liking.. out west we have Texas Roadhouse and they bring you a basket of these hot rolls with cinnamon, honey butter.. as if the sweetness of the bread just isn't enough for you.  LOL

You might try to replicate them by finding a recipe for Hawaiian bread and making rolls out of it.. just a suggestion.

rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

I have to agree that freezing changes everything with potatos. I love seriouseats.com and have made those fries. It makes all the difference in texture, so I have a feeling that it may with this dough as well. With freezing dough it seems that it degrades the yeast activity after thawing according to the article you posted. I know that with the strong yeasty flavor they have I suspect that the percent of yeast used in a recipe that freezes the dough will be quite high, but that yeast flavor along with sweetness is crucial. It may be as high as 6% or even 7%. I also suspect that honey may be used instead of sugar for a different flavor, although the only thing that makes me think otherwise would be the cost increase that would make a national chain restaurant shy away from it as an ingredient. Profits drive everything, so the use of honey over sugar would cut into profits, especially considering the rolls are free and you can request all you want with meals. 

Belles, I have had the Hawaiian bread and it just isn't the right texture for these rolls. The crust is different and the flavor of hawaiian bread is slightly fruity and less yeasty. They are also a lot lighter and the O'Charley's rolls are a bit denser and heavy for their size if I am recalling them correctly. I will do some research on that style though and maybe adapt it to my need in this recipe.

Thanks so much again for the ideas peeps, I love this forum and pizzamaking.com as well. It is so nice to find people that are as interested and passionate about making good food and bread. Not many people put that much thought or time into their eats, but I find such things relaxing.... And quite tasty usually! 

-Cory

bakin_buns's picture
bakin_buns

I have been a long time lurker on this website, and finally created an account just to share this link! 

http://bakerslaboratory.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/o-charleys-rolls/

I made these last week, and they were exactly what I had been hoping for.  Goes great with both stew and jam! :-)

Gentle One's picture
Gentle One

I found your recipe in an independent search.  Two questions, please?  How many rolls does your recipe usually make, and did you freeze the rolls before baking?

 

Thank you.