These dinner rolls are soft, tender, and flakey. The herbs give them an elegance, so they’re great for a holiday dinner roll, but they’re also a perfect accompaniment for a supper of simple Roast Chicken.
Loosely adapted from KingArthurFlour.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes total for mixing, kneading, and shaping
Inactive Prep Time: 2 or more hours (for initial rising), 30-40 minutes for second rise
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 16 rolls, 2 ½” in diameter
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F, no hotter than 115)
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F, no hotter than 115)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt (or to taste) – I have found that Trader Joe’s fine sea salt offers the best flavor (don’t use iodized salt)
2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
4 ½ cups white all-purpose flour, spoon scooped into the measuring cup and leveled off (or 22 oz by weight)
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried rosemary and/or dried rubbed sage
Extra butter to brush on top of baked rolls
A plastic container with a non-air tight lid for rising and storage. I like a plastic juice pitcher.
Pour the 1 cup warm water and 1 cup warm milk in a bowl. Add the 2 ¼ teaspoon yeast, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Stir to combine.
Add the 4 ½ cups flour, ½ cup butter cut in pieces, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, and 2 teaspoons dried rosemary. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. The butter pieces will make the dough lumpy.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (I like using a wood cutting board). Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough for a minute or two, adding more flour if it is really sticky. The dough should come together into a smooth ball.
Place the dough ball in the plastic container and cover with lid. Let rise until double in size. This will take about 2 hours, depending on the warmth of the environment.
Once it doubles you may use it right away, or store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Shaping and Baking
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For individual serving size:
You may use small portions of the dough at a time, and store the remaining dough in the refrigerator. Take a small handful of dough for each roll, about the size of a large lemon (or small orange). Shape the dough into a round, place on a baking sheet, and let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
Using all the dough for one batch:
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add flour to your hands if the dough is really sticky. Form dough into a ball. Using a knife or pastry scraper, divide the dough evenly in half. Then divide each of those halves in half, so you have four portions. Divide each of the four portions into quarters, to form 16 portions.
Make rounds out of the 16 portions. To do this I like to gather the dough at the base, place the dough on the floured surface, cup my hands around the dough ball and gently rotate the dough in a clockwise motion. Place the rounds on a baking sheet about ½ inch apart, so they grow together slightly as they rise and bake.
Let the rolls rise, covered with a cloth, for about 30-40 minutes. Then bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.
Place baking sheet of cooked rolls on a rack to cool. While still hot brush or spread with butter.