For my first Something New post, I decided to try something new myself. These yummy little rolls are my adaptation from Tyler Florence’s recipe I found on the Food Network.
If you’ve never worked with yeast before, fret not! These are easy and I’ll walk you through the whole thing. It’ll be like a bread baking bootcamp, but without the yelling or pushups.
Add sugar to a 2-4 c glass measuring cup and pour in 1 cup near boiling water. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Yeast needs warm water to grow. If it is too hot or cold, nothing will happen. Wait to add the yeast until the water cools off to body temperature. When you can comfortably dip in a finger for a few seconds, pour in the yeast and gently stir. It takes about 10-15 min to ‘proof’. You’ll know it’s ready when the top is bubbly.
GOOD TIP: turn your oven on to it’s lowest setting and cracking the door open. It’s a good way to keep the kitchen area warm for rising yeast and bread dough
Dissolve the salt in 2 Tbsp water. I had some black lava salt I decided to use, but any salt will work. The dark water did look a bit scary, and I wondered if I’d end up with black focaccia!
Pour the foamy yeast into a mixing bowl and gradually stir in flour. You can do this with your mixer dough hook or by hand. I was recently given one of those cool mixers, but I still do it by hand because that’s how my Grandma taught me back in the old days!
Add salt/water mix, and then olive oil. Mix well and then roll out onto floured surface and knead for 10 min until smooth and elastic. The kneading can be also be done with a mixer. I’m tempted to make the switch, but it’s a good arm workout.
Coat the dough ball with olive oil and add more to the bottom and sides of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a cotton towel and let rise for 1 hour in warm place. (Your stove top should be nice and warm by now with the oven on low).
After 1 hour the dough will have doubled in size!
Punch down the dough a few times. Take this literally! Cover again and let rise 45 min.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Dice the onion and sauté in olive oil. Add balsamic after the onion becomes transparent. After about 15 min. when they are soft, put them on plate and stick it in the freezer for about 10min. Don’t ask me why this works, but it makes carmelized onions much better.
Put the dough onto work surface and stretch out into long baguette shape. Cover with the towel and let it rest while you prep the garlic, rosemary and parmesan toppings.
Cut into sections and then form balls. I ended up with 9 balls.
Coat a creuset or dutch oven in olive oil, as well as coating the dough balls as you arrange them inside. (You can also try using a cookie sheet, just decrease the bake time to 15-20)
Poke a few dimples in each roll with your finger, and then brush tops with oil. Sprinkle with carmelized onions, garlic, parmesan, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Bake on bottom rack for 25-30 min. Mine took 30.
Try them yourself! They go great with salad or spaghetti.