Sunday, March 25, 2012

dinner rolls with rosemary and flaked fluer de sel

(Sorry this photo is so crappy, but it's hard to take pics when you are busy and stressed while making food for 30 people!)

I made these rolls for another dinner I worked on with my awesome chef friend, Tom Call. He asked me to come up with some yummy and buttery dinner rolls. I went to my Go-To Baking Mentor (my mom) and asked what she would recommend trying. She suggested this recipe from Sarabeth's Bakery cookbook. I'm so glad she did! It looks like a lot of instruction, but it's pretty simple to put together. Plus, I added the rosemary and fluer de sel to try to make them a little more special. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. For the dinner, we made these more of a "tasting size" in little mini muffin tins instead of making them in the two pans like in the recipe below. If you make them that way, I would suggest using a scale and weighing the dough. Each mini roll weighed about 30 grams.

Dinner Rolls with Rosemary and Flaked Fluer de Sel (adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours)

3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk, divided
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, as needed
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, well softened
4 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, divided
1-2 tablespoons flaked fluer de sel

Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup, 105° to 115°F, milk in a small bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens, about 5 minutes, then stir well to dissolve. Pour into the mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup cold milk, the sugar, egg, and yolk, whisk to combine.

Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, adding 2 cups of the flour and the salt. One tablespoon at a time, beat in the butter, letting each addition become absorbed before adding another. Add another cup of the flour and 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary to make a soft dough that cleans the sides of the bowl.

Using a silicone spatula, scrape the dough into the center of the bowl. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed until the dough is supple, about 4 minutes. One tablespoon at a time, add as much of the remaining flour as needed for the dough to become smooth.

Generously butter a medium bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a ball. Place the ball, smooth side down, in the bowl, and turn right side up to lightly coat the ball in butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Cut the dough into 18 equal portions (if you have a kitchen scale, each portion will weigh 2 ounces.) To shape into balls, one portion at a time, place the dough on an unfloured work surface. Cup one hand over the dough and move your hand in a tight circular motion, letting your palm gently touch the top of the dough. For each pan, arrange 7 balls inside the perimeter of the pan, with 2 balls in the center, spacing the balls equally apart. There will be space between the balls until they proof. Choose a warm spot in the kitchen for the proofing. Cover with a tea towel. Let stand until the rolls look puffy, about 45 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove the tea towel and spray rolls with water, sprinkle with the last two teaspoons of fresh rosemary and lightly sprinkle with flaked fluer de sel. Bake unti the rolls are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans, then separate the rolls from each other and serve hot.

NOTE: If you need to re-heat the rolls, generously sprinkle them with water and put them in a 350°F oven for about 5-10 minutes. Just keep a razor sharp eye on them so that they don't get too golden and dry out.

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