In the flurry of holiday baking and cooking, I didn’t take much time to stop for pictures, which means this is the only one I have of these Rosemary Dinner Rolls. But don’t let that lead you to believe they weren’t worth photographing. They were as lovely as they were delicious, not to mention a triumph in collaboration. You see, whenever holidays approach, I become a bit (ahem, a lot) obsessive. I surround myself by cookbooks and magazines, post-it notes galore and create insanely organized excel spreadsheets detailing the menus, grocery lists, oven schedules and day-by-day tasks. (It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in this and, in fact, have quite a few great examples to follow).
In the midst of my planning I will sometimes seek the opinion of others. Jon suggested that for our Christmas Dinner I make rolls similar to ones he once had at a restaurant – Rosemary Dinner Rolls sprinkled with coarse Sea Salt. To make this short story longer, I decided to give them a try. I am so very happy that I did. This recipe is one that we will be sure to be adding to many more excel spreadsheets in the future. (Or perhaps we will make them without adding them to an excel spreadsheet – if you can imagine that.)
Rosemary Dinner Rolls with Sea Salt
Yield: 18 rolls
Similar to the Peppermint Ice Cream, the active time required is much less than the total time required to make them. They, too, are a perfect do-ahead. I made them the three days ahead of time (though they could be made up to a month ahead of time), let them cool then stored them in freezer bags until the day of our dinner. They reheated perfectly on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
2 tsp. salt
4½ tsp. yeast*
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk (105-110˚ F)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. milk
Whole fresh rosemary leaves, for topping
Coarse Sea Salt, for sprinkling
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and salt on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the yeast, sugar, milk, melted butter and flour. Stir until a dough forms. Beat in the chopped fresh Rosemary until incorporated. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
2. Generously butter 18 muffin cups. Punch the dough down. Scoop the batter, dividing it evenly between the prepared muffin cups (I used an ice cream scoop for this step). Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise about 45 minutes more, until slightly puffed.
3. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Uncover the rolls and brush the tops lightly with the beaten egg mixture. Gently press a few fresh Rosemary leaves into the top of each roll so that they adhere completely. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.
*I use active dry yeast which requires that I dissolve the yeast in the water with half the sugar and let it set for about 5 minutes (you should see it foam at this point) before mixing it into the rest of the dough. If you use instant yeast you can skip this step.
Source: adapted from Williams Sonoma via Annie’s Eats