I would have called these buns rosemary and garlic-flavoured butter dinner rolls, but nobody would read that. So let’s keep it simple in the title and say a little something more about them in the intro, shall we? These were made for a little gettogether we organized a few days after Christmas. This was only one of the dishes we served (quite a crowd we had there) so I thought to myself that I would take a moment after they were all gone to take some photos of the rolls, but guess what? By the end of the evening, there were no leftovers. I hope that the fact that we were only left with a few breadcrumbs on the plate can compensate for the lack of pictures and convince you to try these soft flavoured butter rolls.

The procedure is similar to making a cinnamon roll – the base is a tender and soft yeast dough – with just a little sweetness in the background that gives a proper balance to the spicy filling. The dough is then shaped into a rectangle and generously brushed with soft butter infused with garlic and dry rosemary. The dough is then rolled and cut into buns which plump up as they rise and bake turning into the most flavourful bread with a nice crispy golden brown crust and soft buttery inside. Butter gives these rolls their smooth texture and garlic and dry herbs give them this rich and spicy flavour. Make them instead of bread for a special dinner or let them be the star of your meal and serve them only. Whichever you choose, I am sure you will like these flavoured butter rolls and get back to this recipe often.

preparation time: about 2 hours, rising included
baking time: 30 – 35 minutes, 180°C (350 F)
baking pan size: 28 x 38 cm (11 x 15 in)

Ingredients for the dough:
300 ml milk
1 package (7 g) instant dry yeast + 1 tsp sugar
80 g melted butter
600 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
50 g granulated white sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks

Ingredients for the flavoured butter:
160 g unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp dry rosemary
pinch of salt
extra: 1 Tbsp melted butter + coarse salt for sprinkling (optional)

1. Start by preparing the yeast. Put milk into a small saucepan over medium high heat until it gets luke warm. Remove from the heat and then add yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir everything quickly and let it rest for about 5 minutes or until the yeast foams up.

2. In the meantime, melt the butter and let it cool slightly.

3. Sift together flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. After the yeast mixture has become foamy and bubbly, add it into the flour. Using an electric mixer with a hook attachmnet, start kneading the dough. After about a minute, add a whole egg and 2 eggyolks. Make sure to mix everything for a few seconds between each addition. Finally, add melted butter and mix/knead everything for about 5 minutes. By then, the dough should be very smooth, soft, but should detach from the sides of your bowl and should not be sticky. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour in a warm place.

4. In the meantime, make flavoured butter. Put 160 g of butter into a small saucepan and place it over low heat. Chop garlic very very finely or do what I did – use a fine grater. Add chopped/grated garlic to the butter immediately, you don’t have to wait for it to melt. Add dry herbs as well. I used only rosemary, but feel free to add more if you like. The reason for adding herbs and garlic to the butter in the beggining is to let the butter infuse with all the flavours better. That way, the garlic won’t burn, but will instead have time to release the aroma into the butter and all the flavours will combine perfectly as everything warms up together.

5. Once the butter melts, let everything bubble for about a minute and remove from the heat to cool completely. The butter should harden back into a creamy paste.

6. After an hour of rising, take the dough out of the bowl and place it on floured surface. Using a rolling pin, shape it into a rectangle and smear flavoured butter paste all over it. Roll the dough and pinch the edges well once you get to the end. Using a sharp knife cut into equal pieces – buns. I wanted to get smaller buns, more of a finger food size, so I first divided the dough into two equal pieces and rolled each part separately to get smaller buns. If you want big plumpy buns, make only one roll and cut it into 16 – 18 buns, depending on the size and shape of your pan. I cut my two smaller rolls into 30 buns altogether.

7. Place buns into a prepared baking pan, either covered with parchment paper or buttered at the bottom. Let them rest once again for about half an hour. After that, they should looked fluffy and plumpy. Once they have risen for the second time, brush some melted butter on top and, if you like, sprinkle with some coarse salt (as always, I used my mixture of coarse salt and dry basil). Put them into preheated oven at 180°C/350 F and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size. They should be golden brown on top and should sound hollow if you tap the top, but should also be able to detach from one another.

8. After baking, dig right in while the rolls are still hot. Serve the with a glass of white wine and enjoy!

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