…every pantry has a story
I love these rolls, they are easy to make, and are freezer friendly. I pack my lunch for work everyday, the nights I work my second job, dinner gets packed as well. These rolls really come in handy, and the rosemary flavor is very subtle, melds well with just about everything. Great for so many different meals, they are sturdy enough for burgers or steak sandwiches, equally good with an egg for breakfast, and various cold sandwiches as well. This recipe is a major staple for me, almost every Sunday I crank out a batch, at times made without rosemary, and just as good. I supposed you could substitute your herb of choice, I imagine thyme would work, or even lemon thyme may be on the horizon.
My routine is to bake a batch, eat one (quality control is priority one), after they have cooled, wrap them individually, then freeze them in a larger bag. Freezing them individually not only protects them, but also makes it easy to take out one or two at a time. Thaw time is minor, most times I put them in the fridge the night before, on the counter it may take about 20 minutes.
Of course it would be a lot easier, to just buy bread, but for me there is something very relaxing, even on the cusp being therapeutic kneading dough. Whether it is for bread or pie, it is very easy to just zone out when kneading dough. Cooking in general has always done that for me, it’s a great escape of sorts. While I have always dreamt of having my own little bake shop, I realize the reality of owning one is a mountain of hard labor, and not so therapeutic. However, it still doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about it.
Don’t let the fact that this is a yeast bread deter you, it should not intimidate you at all. Full disclosure, I have made this recipe countless times, and only once has it failed me. That failure was more my fault than anything, I may have become distracted by a sporting event on TV, and left the dough to rise too long. Those little yeast guys gave it their all, I just plumb tuckered them out, by the time I got to baking they had given their all. That day it was more like rosemary discusses, than anything resembling a roll.
Here is what you will need, aka ingredients
1 ½ cups warm water (110⁰), also another separate ½ c extra
1 tsp dry active yeast
3 ½ c bread flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl finely chopped fresh rosemary
1-2 tbl milk
Large bowl lightly coated with olive oil
First off mix the yeast into the warm water, be sure the water isn’t too hot, yeast not a fan of hot tubs. While the yeast dissolves, in a large mixing bowl with dough hook, (or you can do this by hand) combine flour, salt and sugar, mix well. Mix in the olive oil, then slowly add the water yeast mixture. Continue mixing until, soft dough forms, adding additional water if necessary. If you add to much water, just add more flour to even it out. Once the dough is formed, remove from bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Kneading until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if needed. Once the kneading is complete, about 10 minutes, place in prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location. This process takes about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. I use my oven, sometimes before I start making the dough, I turn on the oven for just for a minute or two, to warm it a bit. Again, you don’t want an overly warm rising location.
Meanwhile, finely chop fresh rosemary. Once the dough has doubled, remove the plastic wrap from the bowl, dimple the dough with your finger tips, sprinkle with half the rosemary. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gently knead the remaining rosemary into dough. Shape the dough into a log, divide into about 10 portions, shape into rolls, place on prepared baking sheet. Cover the dough with tea towels, allow to double in size, about 30 minutes. I use a perforated baking sheet, I love the crust it gives the rolls
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly brush the tops with milk, then dust with flour, bake about 20 minutes, until golden brown, and sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to cooling rack