Fresh homemade bread is a wonderful accompaniment to just about any meal. It tastes amazing, and guests always seem really impressed by it (even though it’s darn easy to make!) Usually I like to serve more of a plain bread or roll with crack compound herb butter, but this time I decided to try a recipe with the herbs mixed right into the dough. This recipe was really interesting to me because the method was slightly non-conventional. You mix up the yeast dough as you normally would, but you don’t knead it. You don’t transfer it to an oiled bowl to rise – just leave it in the mixing bowl. Then scoop it into muffin tins, let rise a little longer and bake. Pretty low maintenance as dinner rolls go. I also loved the added detail of the fresh herb pressed into the top of each roll. It provided a nice elegant touch, and made for some lovely rolls.
My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!
2 tsp. salt
4½ tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk (105-110˚ F)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 cups bread flour
½ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme, sage, basil, dill, etc.)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. milk
Whole fresh herb leaves (for topping)
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 herbs until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Generously butter 18 muffin cups. Punch the dough down. Scoop the batter, dividing it evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise about 45 minutes more, until slightly puffed.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Uncover the rolls and brush the tops lightly with the beaten egg mixture. Gently press a fresh herb leaf into the top of each roll so that it adheres completely. 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. (Note: I had to run a small paring knife around the edge of each roll to get them to release from the pan.) Let cool before serving.