i wanna eat some rolls all night (and party every day).

when kiss first recorded their (in)famous song, i think they had a pretty specific message in mind.  they wanted to tell the world about what they considered the two greatest things ever: (1) ladies, and (2) rock and roll.  and while their assertion may still have an element of truth to it (i do think ladies are pretty awesome, it’s just that rock and roll i’m not to sure about), it doesn’t actually have anything to do with this post.

this post is about bread.  specifically, my love of dinner rolls.

i would be surprised if there is a single person in the western world who has never eaten a dinner roll in their life.  dinner rolls are like dirt, tax collectors, and bands who wear far too much makeup.  they are literally everywhere you go, and most people probably wouldn’t care if they all disappeared tomorrow and never came back.

the trouble with dinner rolls is that, like most amazing foods, they are very easy to make and extremely difficult to make well (other examples: mac and cheese, meat sauce, pancakes, gravy, burgers).  yes, you can buy passable dinner rolls at any grocery store.  you can even buy the refrigerated kind which comes in a tube.  i’ll admit it, i like those.  but the sad truth is that most people who have had a dinner roll at some point or another have never experienced a home-made, fresh baked, made-from-scratch dinner roll.

let me rephrase.  what i meant to say was “most people aren’t as lucky as me.”

i got home a few days ago, and my girlfriend had a whole bread pudding and a pot of coffee ready as i came through the door.  when i sat down to consume such delicacies, i noticed two trays covered with a wet dish rag sitting on my coffee table.  when i inquired what they were, she took off the wet rag and blew my mind right open.

rosemary dinner rolls.

clearly there is a god somewhere, and i did something right at some point to deserve this.

i literally stood in front of my toaster oven looking through the window for five of the fifteen minutes the rolls took to bake.  the whole time, i was fidgeting like a kid who really needs to pee but wants to watch his friend beat the last level of a video game.  when the rolls came out, you bet your butt i burned the bejeesus out of my mouth and hands because i just couldn’t wait another precious minute for them to cool.

rest assured, it was one of the most delicious second degree burns of my life.  and trust me, i’ve had a lot.

rosemary herb dinner rolls

rosemary rolls

you’ll need:

  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup room temperature heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano 
  1. pour 1/4 cup of warm water into a small bowl.  boiling water will kill the yeast, so be careful not to make it too hot.  add the yeast and sugar to the water and stir until dissolved.  leave the contents of the bowl uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture has at least doubled in size.
  2. in a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together.  add the thyme, rosemary, and oregano to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. add the reacted yeast to the flour mixture.  stir in 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup water.
  4. once the ingredients are integrated, begin kneading the dough.  knead for at least ten minutes.  the longer you knead, the softer the bread will be, so shoot for closer to a half an hour.  my girlfriend says “if you have the time, it can be fun to just see how long you can keep going!”
  5. once the dough has become smooth and elastic, grease a bowl with olive oil and then set the dough inside it.  cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow to sit for two hours.
  6. once dough has doubled in size, uncover and punch it down.  then cover the dough back up and allow to sit another five minutes.
  7. divide the dough into ten pieces and place the newly formed rolls on baking trays lined with parchment paper.  cover the trays with the damp towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
  8. uncover the rolls and make a cross-cut in the top of each with a knife dipped in olive oil.  cover them back up and leave for another 15 minutes.  preheat the toaster (or conventional) oven to 232ºc.
  9. brush rolls with a beaten egg mixed with milk for a crisper crust.
  10. bake rolls for 10 to 15 minutes or until hard on the outside.

but silly me, i thought that was it.  i thought she would quit while she was ahead.  you can’t beat perfect, right?  wrong.

it turns out my girlfriend is a topper.  the day after, she hit me with another batch of dinner rolls which were completely different and just as amazing.  fresh habeñeros and monterey cheese, anybody?

cheesy habañero dinner rolls

habanero rolls

you’ll need:

  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup room temperature heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped habañero peppers
  1. get some gloves on and chop the peppers.  if you want the rolls to be extra spicy, you can leave the seeds in.  otherwise, it is probably best to remove them before dicing the flesh of the peppers.
  2. do exactly the same as above, only instead of adding thyme, rosemary, and oregano to the dry ingredients in step #2, add the diced habañeros and cheese instead.
  3. instead of the egg and milk wash, brush these rolls with olive oil before popping them in the oven.

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3 thoughts on “i wanna eat some rolls all night (and party every day).

  1. Better late than never! I just read this post and I LOVE it! Yes, I am always behind by a few days…yet I enjoy the heck out of…in this case…yesterday’s news! What a wonderful treat to come home to. You have a great gal there poor man! :)

    • oh trust me, i don’t take her for granted. she taught me (a baking impaired individual) how to make them, as well. she’s a great teacher.

      it’s like that old expression says: give a man a roll, and he’ll eat for five minutes. teach a man to bake, and he’ll feast forever.

      at least i think that is how it goes…

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