I had some rolls like these in a restaurant once. Just after I placed an order for a ribeye steak and macaroni and cheese (excessive much?) the waiter brought a small iron skillet of bread to our table. They were warm, soft dinner rolls with the most delectable rosemary flavor and I couldn’t control myself. Within seconds, the rolls were gone and I was frantically scanning the restaurant for our waiter so I could request some more, which I eventually did.
Three iron skillets of bread later, I was wishing I could cancel the steak and noodles. I’d eaten so many rolls, I smelled like rosemary for days. People kept stopping me, asking which Aveda product I was wearing.
I duplicated these rolls the other day using—brace yourselves—basic frozen dinner rolls. The star of this show is really the rosemary (and another surprise ingredient; stay tuned) and I actually find the texture and flavor of rolls from frozen dough to be not bad at all! But if you’re a from scratch purist, you can substitute your own homemade dough or use the dough from my cinnamon rolls. Anything will do!
Let’s make ‘em, baby.
These are frozen dinner rolls, sold at the supermarket. I use the Rhode’s brand in the orange package, but you might have different brands available in your neck of the woods.
This is a rusty iron skillet, probably 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Rusty, because I never seasoned it properly, and rusty, because I probably let it soak for a long time once and didn’t dry it properly.
Basically, I can’t be trusted. But we’ll cover that in a separate post.
Generously coat the pan with some olive oil…or some good ol’ *****ng spray.
Now place the frozen rolls in the pan, leaving plenty of rising room around each one.
I got about seven in this pan; I wouldn’t want it any more crowded than this since the rolls will probably double in size by the time they’re finished rising.
Now cover them with plastic wrap or a dish towel…
And put them in a non-drafty spot in your kitchen. Walk away for a good three hours (check the directions on the package) and allow them to rise. (Obviously, you’ll need to start these earlier in the day if you want to serve them for dinner.)
Wow—look at what happened!
Yeast is a powerful animal.
I’ll probably let them rise another 20 minutes or so, just to ensure that they’ll be light and fluffy. And as you can see, we wouldn’t have wanted to cram them any closer together; they’ll puff up even more once they bake!
Rosemary. Yum. I need it in my life.
Strip off the leaves and chop the rosemary.
Throw a little butter (regular, salted) into a microwave-safe bowl…
And melt it in the microwave.
Now, grab the most pathetic, beaten up pastry brush that you can find in your kitchen (it’ll make me feel better about myself) and very lightly brush butter over the tops of the rolls. They’re light and fluffy and risen, remember, so you don’t want to smush.
Now, you could easily stop here and bake them as they are if you just want a nice pan of dinner rolls. In the iron skillet, they make a pretty presentation!
But I’m not stopping there.
I never stop there. Stopping there is my least favorite thing to do in life.
Sprinkle rosemary all over the top. It’s very, very flavorful, so you don’t have to do too much.
This looks about right!
Now, very gently brush a little more butter over the top, just to coat the rosemary and break a few rules.
Because you’re worth it.
But we’re still not finished. If you have any good, coarse sea salt, grab it. (My friend Alice gave this to me when we met last month; I used it to make the sea salt truffles a couple of weeks ago, and I absolutely cherish the stuff.)
That’s right. Just sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt over the tops of the rolls.
You must trust me on this one.
It does make the first bite a little salty, but there’s enough plain bread underneath the crusty top to balance it…and it really brings out the flavor of the rosemary.
It’s just good.
Now just pop the skillet into the oven a bake. Follow the temperature directions on the dough package; I did 400 degrees for about 16 or 17 minutes, I think.
Oh dear. Here they are.
Note: Definitely bake them for an adequate amount of time; let the top get really golden brown. You want the bottom of the rolls to be sure to be done. For this reason, it’s best to keep the skillet no higher than the middle rack of the oven.
Note #2: Don’t be alarmed if you look in the oven and the rolls have poufed way over the top of the pan. They’ll settle down slightly when you take them out.
Now, just give ‘em another tiny brush of butter.
You heard me.
I have one thing to say to these rosemary rolls:
Come to mama.
Wanna be loved? Park these on the dinner table next time you have guests over.
Just make sure you have a couple of extra skillets ready to bake. Because if you run out, you won’t so much be loved anymore.
And I wouldn’t wish that for you.
Pull-apart, herbalicious perfection.
Try them this weekend!
Buttered Rosemary Rolls
- Frozen, Unbaked Dinner Rolls
- Melted Butter, Regular, Salted
- Fresh Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
- Coarse Sea Salt
After rising, brush rolls with melted butter.
Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. Brush with additional butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Bake according to roll package directions (usually 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes), until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.
Serve skillet on the table.