If there is one thing that takes me to new heights of food obsession, it is homemade freshly baked bread or anything in that arena. Like biscuits, or rolls for instance.
And the only way that one could improve on a soft, fluffy, squishy dinner roll, would be by adding a little something to that dinner roll. And I’m not talking about a big fat pat of butter either- cause that is a given.
This Thanksgiving, that something is going to be fresh herbs.
The herbs came from my sad little dying herb garden, where most have gone to seed or flower. But there are still some struggling chives, parsley and thyme, and great rosemary.
I infuse the butter, and therefore the butter with the fresh herbs, and then also keep them in the dough for color and texture.
These may be high maintenance as far as waiting around for the dough to rise- but it is not like you won’t be busy prepping other stuff Thanksgiving morning anyways- right?
The actual work involved is seriously minimal. Just be organized. Make your yeast bloom as soon as you get up that morning. Start the dough rising process right away, (feel free to let that dough rise way longer than in my instructions if you get busy with other stuff.)
Save the baking for the very last minute. Like after you have taken the turkey out, and it is resting or being carved- that is the best possible time to bake these. If you are bringing them to friends or family, just prepare them up through the last step, and bake them on site. Because they are truly, truly, out of this world when eaten hot from the oven. Your family and friends will give thanks for your herbed dinner rolls this Thanksgiving.
Herbed Dinner Rolls, makes 12 rolls
adapted from parker house rolls
3 tablespoons hot water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter + 1 Tbs
2 Tbs freshly minced fresh hearty herbs (such as rosemary and thyme)
1 cup whole milk
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Here are my tips to getting your yeast to bloom:
Run HOT water into the bowl you are going to use for your yeast blooming to heat up your bowl. If you put hot water in cold bowl, it will make warm water = no blooming.
Then, with the tap water as hot as it gets from running, measure out a cup of it. Put a thermometer in it if you are in doubt. It like mine around the higher end of the range: 110-115 degrees.
THEN measure out the hot water into the pre-heated bowl.
Stir together the hot water, 2 tablespoons sugar and yeast in a small bowl until yeast in dissolved. Let stand until foamy, at least five minutes, (I got distracted and waited 20). If the mixture does not foam up, throw it out and start over. Your dough will never be right if this step doesn’t work.
Melt 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter in a small saucepan over the lowest heat, (you don’t want the butter to take on any color at all, so keep it low!)
Add the chopped herbs to the butter, (the herbs will infuse the butter)
Add the milk to the butter and herbs and barely heat until lukewarm.
Pour into the large bowl with the yeast mixture, bread flour, and salt.
Mix until just combined, and then add the milk and butter mixture.
Stir in 1 cup all-purpose flour, a little at a time while the mixer is working.
Mix the dough until a smooth and elastic dough begins to form, adding more all-purpose flour as needed.
The dough will be smooth after a few minutes.
Place the dough into a large, buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and and let rest in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
See?!! So puffy and beautiful!!!
Take the beautiful puffy dough ball out and pat it like a little baby’s bottom- it will be just as soft. I wanted to swaddle it and walk around with it.
Cut the dough in quarters, and then cut each of those into 3 pieces.
Form each of the 12 pieces into little balls and place them in a dish that has been buttered with 1Tbs of the remaining butter.
Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again, another hour.
When they have doubled again, I kind of stretch them out and fold them over themselves.
Melt the last 2Tbs of butter, and brush the rolls with the butter.
Bake the rolls at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until barely golden brown on top.
Serve immediately.Print Recipe
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Lady…what have you done to me??? This looks PERFECT for my family thanksgiving!!! Now i’m going to have to make quadruple the batch! is there any way I can make the dough the night before, keep it in the fridge and let it rise the next morning to bake off??
They are so seriously good Jen. I’m sure you can, i always leave my yeast risen cinnamon roll dough in the fridge over night, so I don’t know why it would be fine here- but I would let them get really warm and puffy in the morning before you bake!
Oh, my… I’d slather them with butter fresh out of the oven and be so happy. The problem is I’d want to eat the entire batch! Is that a bad thing?
I had to leave the room and have someone else put them away before I could eat them all! The good news is that on Thanksgivng, they will disappear before you have the chance!
These look good- how can they not given the amount of butter!;-) we dont have thanksgiving in italy, but ill make them anyway! You know, all your beautiful ideas and recipes are enemies for my already blooming figure!!:-)
haha! you should see mine! I am on serious chub patrol until Thanksgiving!
I can see these on my Thanksgiving table! Normally I buy rolls, but your recipe has changed my mind!
oh yeah, they are soooo easy! and sooooo good!
These sound so yummy!
I love Parker House rolls. These look easier and just as good. i will definitely try these.
I’m not a big fan of Rosemary, though, so I will think about substituting other herbs. Any suggestions? Dill?
oh sure! I would use thyme, chives, parsley, sage? you could do anything! (or even leave them plain)
These look so good – love adding herbs to bread – and yes Jen you can make dough and then stop the process by putting in the fridge over night – just let it come back up to room temp before you bake them – oooo the smell of fresh baking!
There is truly nothing better than freshly baked rolls!
Those look so delicious. Just in time for the holidays. Come visit us. We have a terrific mulled cider and a legacy cookbook to share.
I should make these for my Mom, she LOVES dinner rolls!
i have to say, dinner rolls are one of my favorite parts of Tgiving dinner.
These look perfect to soak up all that gravy and cranberry sauce. The herb addition is great!
Love that you added fresh herbs to this bread! Makes it extra special 🙂
these look wonderful! I am such a carb girl, I could eat these all myself, but it wouldn’t be nice not to share 🙂
Delicious rolls are an absolute must on my Thanksgiving plate. These look outstanding!
they seriously are so good.
These made the cut. They’re going on my table for Thanksgiving!! Thanks!
oh good Jan! They are amaaaaazing!
Well, I tried this recipe tonight and it flopped. Just reading the printed directions were a bit confusing. Will try again tomorrow WITH the video to watch!
OH NO!! What happened? The only way I could see this flopping is if the yeast doesn’t rise. Be really sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water, and if you get a chance please glance at the pictures in the step by step directions I included. Your dough should be just as puffy. Maybe let sit longer to rise if you your house is a little cooler? Please give me any notes you have.
Second try going much better. The directions say (from the hot tap water in a bowl) “measure out a cup of it” which I did. Missed the part that said I only needed 3 TB of hot water from the one cup measured out. Will be baking in another hour! happy Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing your contributions to the new magazine Gray. The editor-at-large (Lindsey Roberts) is my daughter!
And, the last step says “the last 2 tbs. of butter” but, I used one tb. to butter the bowl and the second tb. to butter the dish. So actually you use 10 tb of butter in this recipe? Not 8?