Salted Herb Rolls
In a carb-conscious world, I have a family that cannot get enough of them and bread tops the list! Every night we consume crusty French baguette, exquisite loaves of Italian bread (our favorite market gets it in fresh every morning from New York) or countless biscuits (all of course are slathered with butter). I ran across a recipe in Bon Appétit for dill and onion rolls that sounded interesting. I played around with the recipe, changed the herbs, omitted the onion and they became Salted Herb Rolls. They are terrific and my family loved them!
If making your own bread intimidates you, I am here to tell you that it should not. I make breads, babkas, cinnamon rolls etc. and the key is in diluting the yeast properly. Working with yeast is quite simple, as long as you heat your milk to the right temperature and know that when most recipes you see in books or magazines refer to the yeast “foaming”…it is somewhat of an exaggeration. The yeast will begin to “bubble” in places, and that is how you know the yeast is fresh and doing its job. I remember the first time I ever worked with yeast years ago, and the recipe said the yeast would foam…I waited and waited and I never saw any frothy foam so I threw it out and started again….about six times. I finally took a chance that the tiny bubbles that formed in the milk were what they meant, and viola…I got it!
These rolls are a great addition to your fall and winter meals. Feel free to change the herbs to suit your taste.
Salted Herb Rolls
Makes 12 rolls
- ½ Cup whole milk
- 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Package active dry yeast
- ½ Cup buttermilk
- 1 Teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
- 1 Teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 2 Teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 ½ Cups flour
- 1 Stick butter, divided in half and melted
Heat the milk until warm (an instant read thermometer should register 120-130).
Add the sugar and yeast and whisk to combine.
Add the buttermilk, whisk again and then let the mixture sit for about 8 minutes.
You will see little bubble form in the milk mixture…that is the sign that the yeast is activating.
Add the thyme, rosemary, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the flour and 2 teaspoons of the melted butter into the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
The dough will be extremely wet and tacky.
Turn the dough into the bowl of an electric mixer, and using the bread hook attachment, let the machine knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough will become elastic.
Using two more teaspoons of the melted butter, grease a glass bowl and place the kneaded dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, dry place for 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes, punch the dough down and let it double in size again by resting for another hour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently pat it down and spread it out (do not put a lot of pressure on the dough)
Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread 2 more teaspoons of the melted butter onto the parchment.
Gently shape each piece of dough into a ball and then space them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Brush each roll with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle the remaining on teaspoon of salt over the top of each.
Cover with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another hour.
Bake the rolls at 375 for 25-30 minutes (until they are a deep golden color and have doubled in size.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately with plenty of butter.