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herbed fan rolls

January 20, 2012

I’m a sucker for anything that looks pretty while requiring minimal hand-eye coordination. So when the time came for me to put together my pie-and-rolls recipes for Thanksgiving (…almost two months ago. yipes.) from my excessive Recipes folder, these naturally caught my eye.

Considering how fancy they look, these are actually pretty easy to put together. The dough is nice and workable–the butter and egg worked into it keeps it from sticking to itself and/or your hands too much. Honestly, the hardest part is probably finding a way to spread the softened butter onto the also-soft dough without ripping and tearing your nice rectangle into oblivion. Not sure there are any tricks to that, except maybe setting the butter out to soften as early as you can in the whole process.

At any rate, the end results are well worth all the effort involved in remembering to take your butter out of the fridge. (And oh, that takes effort. Please tell me I’m not the only one for which that’s true.) After a couple of hours, you’re rewarded with these soft, flaky, buttery, herby rolls to eat with your Thanksgiving–errr, make that Valentine’s Day–feast. Success!

Herbed Fan Rolls
1 package active dry yeast or instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
3/4 cup warm 2% milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened [really, really softened]
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
next time, I might think about adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to kick things up a bit…totally your call on whether you want these gentle and herby or punchy and flavorful

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step and just dump the water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and yeast in with the other ingredients. At any rate, eventually, you should add the milk, melted butter, egg, salt, 3 cups of flour, and remaining sugar. Beat until smooth (stand mixer optional). Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn once to grease the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. Punch down dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into two portions and roll each portion into a 14-by-6-inch rectangle. Combine softened butter, basil, and oregano and spread evenly over each rectangle of dough.
4. Score each rectangle width-wise at 2-inch intervals. Using the marks as a guide, fold dough accordion-style back and forth along score lines. Cut folded dough into six 1-inch pieces and place pieces cut side down in greased muffin cups. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow the rolls to rise for 30 minutes.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove the rolls from the pan and place on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Source: Erin Cooks

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