Rosemary and Cheese Dinner Rolls
Everyone loves dinner rolls with holiday meals...my mother always made them and when I was in charge of the big family dinners, I always made them too. Usually I made cloverleaf rolls because they freeze a dream and I made them ahead.
I ran across this recipe a few months ago and while they appear to have been made for an Easter dinner, I thought they'd be perfect with either a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Who wouldn't love a roll with some cheese built right in and topped with rosemary, Kosher salt and fresh black pepper? These are totally amazing; you can easily taste (and see) the manchego cheese throughout and I clipped some fresh rosemary right out of the pots on my front porch for the topping. When done, I stuck them in the freezer, but later thawed and warmed one to double check that they held up perfectly. They did.
Notes: I used the quick rising yeast, so began making them in the morning and baked them at lunchtime. The directions below are from the original recipe, using active dry yeast and the dough is refrigerated overnight, then shaped the next day. It all depends on which yeast you prefer to use.
Rosemary and Cheese Dinner Rolls
By Gerry Speirs at Foodness Gracious
2 envelopes of Red Star Active Dry Yeast
1 tablespoons sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 pound all purpose flour (4 cups)
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups grated manchego (or cheddar)
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Cornmeal for the baking tray (I used parchment paper)
Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water (meaning 125 degrees) until it has dissolved.
In a large bowl add 3 cups of the flour and salt; make a well in the center.
Add the yeast mixture to the center and mix with a wooden spoon until it makes a soft dough. (I found I didn't need the full 4 cups of flour, so if your dough is too wet, add until the mixture comes together and forms a soft ball. Flours are different as are locations...I live in South Florida so it may be somewhat different for those who live in cooler climes.)
Knead on a floured board for 4 or 5 minutes and then shape into a round ball. (I used the dough hook on my mixer.) Grease a bowl with olive oil, dump in the dough, slide it around and then turn it upside down so both sides are slightly greased.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. (I didn't do this step because I used the quick rising yeast. I just covered the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise for an hour or so...then continued on to the next step.)
Take the bowl from the fridge the next day and place on floured board. Roll it flat until it's about an inch thick. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and begin to knead and fold again. Once the cheese is incorporated, cut it in half and roll out to a rectangle. Cut the dough in strips (you should get about 8 with each half) and roll each strip into a rope shape about 6 inches long. Tie a knot and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with both halves of dough.
With a pastry brush, glaze each roll and then sprinkle with a mixture of chopped fresh rosemary, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about another 45 minutes or so.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden. Mine took a tad less than 20 minutes. All ovens are different.
Makes about 16.