Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

This weekend, Bryan and I are running our first ever half-marathon! We’ve been training for it since the Fall, doing lots of long runs and shorter races, and now it’s almost game time. While there are a lot of positive ramifications of running, my personal favorite is the pre-run ritual of eating lots of carbs. Seriously though, now I understand why people run marathons. 

I love the idea of making fresh breads. When I was younger, my dad would make the most incredible fresh sourdough in his bread machine. He would slice it up for us for breakfast, still warm with a spread of butter and strawberry jelly, and it was absolutely incredible.

However, given my tiny apartment and lack of bread machine and/or KitchenAid (wedding registry, I’m counting on you!), I’m fairly restricted in my recipes. Most tried and true bread recipes need a level of mixing that you just can’t do by hand. That’s why I was PUMPED when I stumbled across the Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I was reading enviously through her post on these rolls when I stumbled upon this glorious line “If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step“. 

BOOM. We were in business. 

So last weekend, Bryan and I woke up really early on Saturday to do a 10 mile training run up the West Side Highway. It was fairly brutal, but after I awoke from a three hour recovery nap (amateur hour, I know) I jumped right back into baking mode and started on these roles. 

This recipe isn’t necessarily challenging, it is just time consuming. It requires two rises: one for two hours right after the dough comes together, and another for about 45 minutes after you shape the dough into balls. You pop them in the oven for about 40 minutes, and you’re good to go. 

Crunchy on top, fluffy and warm in the middle, and so flavorful they didn’t even need butter. I served them with roasted broccoli rabe and parmesan crusted cod, but let’s be real they were the true star of the show. 10 miles = 10 rolls, right? 

XoXo,
Elizabeth 

Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.

If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and 2 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle– add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl– I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Tip from Sally – for this warm environment, preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.

Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 6 equal pieces for a total of 12 pieces that are a little larger than golfball size. Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased oven-proof skillet.

Brush the rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle each with sea salt. (Do no discard any leftover melted butter, it’s amazing brushed on the rolls after they bake too!) Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 25-28 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm. 

Cover leftover rolls and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.

 

Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls
Yields 12
better than bertuccis, trust me
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Prep Time
3 hr 5 min
Total Time
3 hr 35 min
Prep Time
3 hr 5 min
Total Time
3 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F1
  2. 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)2
  3. 2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  4. 1 large Eggland's Best egg, at room temperature
  5. 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted + slightly cooled and divided
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 teaspoons each: dried rosemary, dried basil, & dried parsley3
  8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic)
  9. 3 cups (385g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
  10. sea salt, for topping
  11. Special Equipment;
  12. 10 - 12 inch oven-safe skillet
Instructions
  1. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and 2 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle-- add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl-- I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
  4. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 6 equal pieces for a total of 12 pieces that are a little larger than golfball size. Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased oven-proof skillet. Brush the rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle each with sea salt. (Do no discard any leftover melted butter, it's amazing brushed on the rolls after they bake too!) Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 25-28 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm.
  6. Cover leftover rolls and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. If by 24 minutes the tops are not browned, throw the broiler on for for the last few minutes.
  2. Do not sub low fat milk. Whole milk is key to best taste and texture. If anything, 2% may be subbed.
  3. If using instant yeast, the rise time may be a little less.
  4. You can use finely chopped fresh herbs instead, I would increase to 1 Tablespoon each. Play around with the amounts of herbs you use. These amounts produce a highly flavored herb roll.
  5. Make ahead tip/overnight: After dough has risen for two hours in step 3, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, then remove from the refrigerator and continue with step 4. OR freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/

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