Winter is upon us. As I type this, I have a blanket wrapped around me like a shawl and a mug of herbal tea standing by. A friend of mine used the hashtag #puttingonthewinterweight in a social media post the other day, and I laughed out loud. There is some truth to the fact that our bodies crave different foods in the cooler months. We long for calorie-dense meals that will give our bodies the energy to keep warm. Our genes are unaware of central heating and certainly haven’t heard of a desk job.
We’ve been turning up the oven for dinners lately and enjoying the warm kitchen while we feast on baked meals and pots of soup. Homemade bread in any form speaks of winter comfort and rolls are often where we turn when we want to be reminded of grandma’s house and slower times gone by.
These rolls are a variation on my slightly-famous (ha!) Hearth Bread. If you know me, and I’ve brought you a loaf before, then you will recognize the dough. It also makes a killer pizza crust, especially if you raise and bake the dough in a little melted butter. (It tastes just like Pizza Huts’ famous pan crust, I swear!). Though we will be making my grandmother’s rolls for Thanksgiving, these would made a beautiful addition to any holiday table. Enjoy your cozy winter evenings at home!
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups warm wate
1 ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary or Italian Herbs or equal parts dried basil and oregano
½ tsp black pepper
dash granular garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp sea salt (or kosher salt)
Bread flour (you will use about 4-6 cups, maybe a little more)
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp granular garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
finely grated Parmesan cheese (I sometimes us a combo of Parmesan and Romano in my rotary grater)
Combine yeast, sugar and water in a stand mixer (I use a BOSCH) or a large mixing bowl if mixing by hand. Add herbs , pepper, oil and about 2 cups flour and stir just for a minute to combine. Add salt and gradually add more flour until dough is tacky, but not sticky.prinkle with cheese. Bake in a 400° oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
Place in a well-oiled bowl and allow to raise at room temperature until doubled. I often do this first raise in the refrigerator overnight.
Shape into rolls, or knots and place on a greased cookie sheet. Raise until nearly double in size. Combine topping ingredients, except for the cheese and brush over rolls.