I made these little rolls to go along with my Curry Ginger Carrot Bisque last night. It was probably a mistake. I love bread. Too much. These are yummy. And therefore, dangerous.
But I digress.
While I was thinking about these rolls, before I actually started proofing the yeast, I was thinking about these lovely, soft, rolls my mom made years ago - savory, but with a little lemon zest in them. They were very tasty, and I couldn't find a recipe, so I kind of winged it. I was also influenced somewhat by the recent kugelhopf I made for this week's TWD recipe.
I also didn't have lemon zest. Limes? Mmmmmm...no. But I had a bowl of clementines...one of them would do nicely.
Okay, on to the dough.
1 T dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups milk, warm to the touch
3 T sugar
4 1/2 - 5 cups All Purpose flour
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature, but not mushy
1 T salt
Zest of one clementine (or a lemon, if you prefer)
1 tsp dried thyme
First, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the milk and let the mixture sit a few minutes, until the yeast becomes frothy.
Pour that into the bottom of a bowl (stand mixer bowl if you've got one) and to that, add about 2 cups of flour and mix, using the dough hook, until combined.
Add in the egg, and combine, scrape the bowl down, set the mixer speed on medium and add the butter in pieces, one at a time, waiting for the first piece of butter to be thoroughly blended in before adding the next.
Once the butter is all mixed in, add another 2 cups of flour, the salt, thyme and zest, and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together in a ball. Add more flour, a bit at a time, if needed, to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead a couple times, then place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk.
Punch the dough down and let it rise a second time.
Now comes the fun part.
Cut the dough in half and set one half aside. Roll out the other half until it's a rectangle roughly 18" long by 8" wide. Trim the edges so you've got nice clean edges and angles. Then slice into four pieces lengthwise, then into six rows width-wise. You should have 24 little squares or rectangles.
Brush the tops with melted butter, and then make little stacks of five and place them on end in muffin tins.
Or, you could make little balls of dough and put three in each muffin section. (no action prep shots of that, sorry)
OR, you could cut a sections of dough, roll it into a snake, and tie that into a little knot.
Cover your little creations with a dish towel and let them rise about 45 minutes, or until nice and puffy. Preheat your oven to 400 F at this point, and brush the tops of your little rolls with melted butter. When the oven is ready, put the pans in the oven and bake about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with a bit of butter, and a nice bowl of soup on the side.