The perfect pairing for soup, pasta and more!
Taking a few extra minutes to start your dough off by making a sponge is what sets these rolls apart. By combining the yeast, sugar, water and some of the flour, the yeast will activate fully so the product will rise better; in addition, the resulting dough will be more elastic, have better flavour and a vastly improved, fluffier texture and crumb. Using olive oil also helps to make the dough tastier and contributes to the smoother texture that makes these rolls so outstanding.
- 1 cup (250 mL) warm water
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil, plus a bit more for brushing
- 1 egg
- 1 3/4 cups (435 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (25 mL) melted butter
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) finely minced garlic
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Make the sponge by combining the water, yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup (125 mL) of flour a large bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Add salt, olive oil and egg to the sponge. Mix thoroughly then stir in remaining 1 3/4 cups (435 mL) flour. This will form a shaggy, somewhat sticky dough that can be pulled away from the side of the bowl.
- Cover with the bowl with the same towel you used before and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- With your clean fist, punch down the dough and pull it away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with more flour and shape into a rectangle. With your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough out into a rectangle approximately 10 x 12 inches (25 – 30 cm) in size inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. Leaving a one-inch (2.5 cm) border on the long edge that is furthest away from you, brush the dough with melted butter; sprinkle with garlic, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the Parmesan cheese, pepper and parsley.
- Starting with the long end that’s closest to you, roll the dough evenly into a log, pressing down at the end to seal the edge of the log.
- With a large, sharp knife, cut the log into 12 rolls. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side up.
- Brush each roll with olive oil. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover loosely with the clean towel and let rise 30 minutes then start preheating oven to 400F.
- Bake in preheated oven until the tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. Rolls are delicious warm or at room temperature. Leftover (unlikely) can be frozen.
Makes 12 irresistible rolls.