Monday, October 10, 2011

No-Knead Overnight Parmesan and Rosemary Rolls

I've made it my mission to become a better bread baker. Anything involving yeast can turn out iffy when I'm around, but hopefully this will not be the case much longer. These rolls were my first attempt at this baking experiment and the result was surprisingly delicious. Earlier this week I picked up a copy of Cooking Light's Best Baking Recipes and knew I waned to try some of their recipes. Not only did the sweets looking amazing, but their breads sounded great too. In the original recipe for these rolls, dried thyme is used instead of rosemary, but since I didn't have any thyme around, I substituted rosemary, which is a flavor I love in breads. I was also relieved that this recipe uses an easy method for making bread since no kneading is required and you don't need to worry about things like over-kneading your dough.

Now that the weather is starting to cool down, especially in the evenings, there's nothing better than warm bread fresh from the oven (and it's even more gratifying knowing you made it from scratch). If you're new to working with yeast, don't be intimidated by this recipe. I was convinced the yeast did not dissolve properly when I first made these, but I went through with the recipe anyway and made my first successful batch of rolls. If I was able to make these rolls, so can you. My only tip is to eat them all on the first day, which you will probably do anyway, since they get a little harder the next day. If you do have any leftover, just pop them in your microwave for about 10 to 20 seconds and they'll soften up and be warm.

Recipe from Cooking Light's Best Baking Recipes 2011
Makes 8 or 9 rolls

1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (100º to 100ºF/ 38º to 43ºC)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or dried thyme)
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary (or thyme) and cook for a minute until bubbly and fragrant.

Add the rosemary mixture and the milk to the yeast, using a whisk to stir. Add 1/4 cup of cheese, sugar, salt, and egg to this mixture, stirring well. Add 1 1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining flour to one tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth but still sticky.

Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to this bowl and turn it over to coat the dough with the cooking spray. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight. The dough will not double in size as with most bread, but this is normal.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Flour a surface, turn the dough onto it, and sprinkle some flour on top of the dough. Roll the dough into a 12"x7" (30cm x 17 cm) rectangle. Brush the dough with the remaining tablespoon of oil and evenly sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese and black pepper. Starting from the long end, roll up the dough (like a roulade or jelly-roll). Pinch the seam of the dough, but do not close off the ends.

Cut the dough into slices 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) thick. Place slices cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the rolls and let them rise for an hour in a warm place.

Preheat your oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Place the rolls into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375ºF/190ºC. Bake at 375ºF for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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