Freshly baked dinner rolls, kissed with a touch of rosemary and garlic butter, are scrumptious! They make your favorite meal extra special and extra cozy!
Dinner Rolls, Those Little Pillows of Deliciousness
For me, nothing quite beats warm, buttery and soft dinner rolls fresh out of the oven as an accompaniment to a delicious homemade meal. It's an utterly cozy and comforting treat!
As they bake, their glorious aroma fills the kitchen and then wonderfully wafts into every other room in the house. It's an aroma that speaks of home, of care, of nurture, and of the promise of good food prepared with an abundance of love.
When I created my recipe for my homemade dinner rolls a while back, I really wanted them to be a bit special.
I wanted my dinner rolls to be a bit of a treat, something that I would find myself craving and dreaming of. My goal was to create a recipe that would be a fun and creative culinary process to participate in when the desire for something homemade came along.
I also imagined them as one of those recipes that either my hubby or our son would put in a special request for from time to time, or one that I could bake up and bring along with me to a special gathering.
These soft and pillowy dinner rolls are most definitely such a recipe! They're prepared with lots of flavorful and aromatic ingredients, and an abundance of love and care, indeed!
Flavorful Homemade Dinner Rolls
While I can't recall the details of where or even when I had this, I remember at some point enjoying a focaccia-style bread that had been brushed with either butter or olive oil, and topped with fresh rosemary. They had a hint of garlic, a sprinkle of parmesan, and I recall thinking how exquisite the fragrance and taste was in combination with the flavor of the warm bread... (Come to think of it, was this all a splendid dream?)
And so when I came up with my dinner roll recipe, I wanted to include similar flavors to make them extra savory and unique.
I use chopped, fresh rosemary leaves (which I add directly into the dough), melted butter, garlic, and asiago cheese. I've included a mashed potato in a yeasted dough to create a more fluffy, tender, and pillowy texture—nothing quite like it.
These ingredients create very fragrant and flavorful dinner rolls, the kind where enjoying just one has never been an option for me personally! 😉
How to Make Dinner Rolls
I make these dinner rolls in the style of a pin-wheel roll, or similar to how one would prepare cinnamon rolls. This creates a sort of “pull apart” style of roll, one where you simply pull a roll off from the rest of the batch.
Here's a glance at my dinner roll recipe:
- I prepare my yeasted dough, and allow it to proof for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- While the dough gently rises, I prepare my garlic-butter filling.
- With my dough rolled out, I spread on my combination of melted butter and garlic; then, I sprinkle over some of my asiago cheese.
- I roll up the dough as I would cinnamon rolls, then cut small rolls (roughly 30), placing them on a large baking sheet, making sure they're snug; and then I proof the dough once more for 40-45 minutes.
- Once proofed, I brush a bit more garlic butter on the rolls, then bake them for about 25 minutes, or until a light golden color.
- As a finish, I brush them once more with a touch of melted butter just before serving.
(You'll find the full recipe below...)
Let me tell you, these delicious dinner rolls are simply heavenly when they're soft and fresh from the oven!
Tips & Tidbits for Dinner Rolls:
- Mashed potato in the dough: The addition of mashed potato in the dough yields tender, fluffy and light dinner rolls. I simply place a russet potato into my microwave and cook it until tender for several minutes, then pass it through a ricer for a smooth texture.
- Fresh or dried rosemary: I love the color and the sharp fragrance of fresh rosemary in this dough; but if you prefer to use dried rosemary, that is fine too. (You could also use a combination of dried herbs such as the ones found in Italian seasoning.)
- Make things easy by making ahead: You can prepare these dinner rolls the day before you plan on serving them up to the point where you cut them into rolls, before the second proofing. Just place them onto the baking sheet, wrap well with plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge. When ready to bake, allow them to come to room temp and proof (about an hour or an hour and a half, or until they double in size), then proceed with baking.
- Flavorful cheese: Asiago is my pick for these rolls, as it is super flavorful yet soft enough to lightly melt/soften over the rolls and become golden. Another great option is parmesan cheese, or an Italian four-cheese blend.
- Brush with melted butter before serving: While these are still warm, brush them with any remaining melted butter you have left just before serving. They'll be extra aromatic!
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 30 rolls
Nutrition Info: 163 calories (per roll)
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (this includes dough “proofing” time)
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 55 minutes
• 1/4 cup warm water (110°)
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup (slightly heaping) mashed potato
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary leaves
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 2 1/2 cups grated asiago cheese, divided use
-To prepare your dough: add the teaspoon of sugar to the warm water, and mix with a fork to dissolve; next, sprinkle the yeast over top in an even layer, and using the fork, gently mix to dissolve; allow the yeast mixture to sit for 8-10 minutes, until foamy.
-While the yeast activates, add the milk, the butter, the sugar and the salt to a small sauce pan, and gently heat the mixture until the butter is melted; whisk to blend, and allow to slightly cool.
-Next, add the milk/butter/sugar/salt mixture to a large bowl; add in the mashed potato and the eggs, and using a hand mixer, mix on low until well blended, about 1 minute.
-Then, add in 2 cups of the flour and the chopped rosemary leaves, and mix on low until smooth.
-Add in the yeast mixture, and mix that until well incorporated.
-Now, using a wooden spoon, add in the rest of the flour, and stir to combine until a “shaggy” dough is formed.
-Flour a work surface, and turn the dough out onto it; knead for about 6 minutes, adding a little more flour as needed, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
-Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough into the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; place the dough into a warm place (I usually put mine the microwave, or into a very lightly “warmed” oven that has been turned off) and allow for it to double in size, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
-While the dough is rising, you can put together your filling: add the 1/4 cup butter to a small, microwave-safe dish, and melt it; then, add in the pressed garlic, and stir with a fork to combine; cover with plastic wrap, and keep warm to keep it fluid (or you can reheat it in the microwave, if needed).
-Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly mist it with cooking spray.
-Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, and turn it out onto a floured work surface.
-Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape, about ¼” thick (it will be fairly large); then, drizzle or brush onto the dough the “garlic butter”, reserving about 1 tablespoon of it to keep for brushing over the rolls before baking them.
-Next, sprinkle over 2 cups of the grated asiago cheese as evenly as possible, and starting from the top, carefully and as tightly as possible, roll the dough towards yourself, and pinch the seam closed.
-Next, cut the dough “log” in half for easier slicing of the rolls.
-Then, cut about 3/4” - 1” rolls from each of the log halves (shaping each individual roll with your hands if they need to be made tighter), and place onto your prepared baking sheet; place the rolls tightly against each other.
-Next, cover the rolls with plastic wrap, and allow them to double in size, for about 40-45 minutes.
-During the last 15 minutes of proofing, preheat your oven to 350°.
-Brush the rolls very lightly with the remaining tablespoon of garlic butter, and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of asiago; bake for about 24-28 minutes, or until a pale golden color, and serve warm. (You can even brush a bit more butter over them before serving.)
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!