Yields: 3 dozen
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Other Time: 2 hours for rising
Ingredients for about 32-36 small dinner rolls:
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F.)
1 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 or 2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
About 3 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour, plus more if needed (NOTE: add about 2 1/2 cups of flour at the beginning of the mixing, and then add more in smaller increments until the dough just starts to pull away from the bowl. Remember, you can always add more, but can’t remove too much! Better a little too sticky than too stiff and dry.)
2 tbsp olive oil (to oil the dough)
egg wash (one egg beaten with a teaspoon of milk)
coarse sea salt
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm place until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Combine 1 cup milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until butter is melted, 3 to 4 minutes; remove pan from heat.
3. Combine 2 cups flour, yeast mixture, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and milk mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; mix on low until no dry spots remain. Stir in 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue adding flour until a firm dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on medium until elastic and soft but still tacky, about 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a clean bowl and coat with olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Transfer dough to a work surface and shape into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Cut into 36 equally-sized pieces. Form each piece into a ball, pinching the seams on the underside, creating a smooth, round top.
Lightly beat egg with 1 teaspoon milk in a small bowl.
5. Transfer dough balls to the prepared baking sheet in 3 rows of 12, placing them close together but not touching. Brush tops lightly with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, 20 to 30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.