Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Favorite Fresh-Herb Rolls

Years ago these rolls were the signature bread at a wonderful organic restaurant and farm near our home. Through the years the restaurant has progressed adding a professional bakery on site, which produces mainly artisan breads. I don't think they offer the herb rolls anymore, but these remain my family's absolute, all-time favorite recipe for dinner rolls. The whole wheat flour and oat bran give them a wonderful depth of flavor, while the white flour keeps them light and tender.

Summer Jo’s Herb Rolls
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

Friendly warning---This recipe makes a restaurant-size quantity  (4 dozen rolls!) 
I always half the recipe, and there are still plenty to freeze. (I freeze after baking and cooling ~ wrap them airtight.)  It would be easy to quarter the recipe if you would like.

Be generous with the fresh herbs you use, for half a recipe of dough I usually  use 2 to 3 tablespoons in total. Use any combination of fresh herbs that you like.  I usually use fresh thyme, rosemary, chives and a bit of oregano.


3 tablespoons yeast (the original recipe used old fashioned slow-rise yeast. To substitute instant see notes below)
1 cup sugar
4 cups warm water
4 each, whole eggs
1 cup olive oil (I prefer a mild flavor for this recipe)
8 cups enriched white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oat bran *
2 tablespoons salt

To taste: Fresh seasonal herbs, chopped
Extra flour for kneading ; this is a soft dough and may take quite a bit more flour than expected.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water (120-130 degrees) for 5-10 minutes.

Add the eggs and oil, mixing them into the dissolved yeast. Add all the flour and bran to the mixture 2 cups at a time, then add the salt and chopped herbs.
Note: If using instant yeast,  mix the warm water, oil and eggs until well combined. Don't bother dissolving yeast in the water-- just add the yeast and sugar to the flour.
Knead the dough into a ball and set it in a large covered bowl, storing this in a warm place until the dough doubles in size.
Butter or oil baking sheet(s).
Butter or oil your hands. Form the dough into 2-1/2-inch balls. Let rise, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the rolls for 12-20 minutes or until just golden brown and baked through. (Baking time will depend upon the size of the formed rolls.)

Delicious served warm with butter~ and even good split and toasted a day or two later.

* If oat bran is difficult for you to find, you can just whir some old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor (until slightly chopped, leaving some texture. Don't over blend to a powder)  as a substitute.

I hope you enjoy!

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