These herb rolls require two rises. One for about 2 hours after you mix all the dough ingredients together. Then you form the dough into balls and let those rise for only about 30-45 minutes. So there’s actually not a lot of work time involved, just a lot of wait time. There’s a couple ways to make the dinner rolls ahead of time so you can get started the night before. It’s all in the directions down below.
Baking with Yeast Guide
Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.
As for the ingredients, well those really are EASY! The dough recipe is similar to my honey butter rolls, so if you’ve ever made those before you know you’re in good hands with these. Some power players: melted butter. I love the flavor melted butter brings to bread dough. Olive oil is great as well, but I much prefer the flavor from butter. Not only is melted butter in the dough, you’ll brush the rolls with melted butter (and a sprinkle of sea salt) before that 2nd rise. Extra flavor that way. And, if you have any melted butter left, you can brush more butter on top when they’re done. It’s all very simple and it’s all very good.
Another power player is bread flour. You can make the rolls with all-purpose flour instead, but I find the rolls to be chewier and have that bakery-style taste when using bread flour. One last power ingredient? All those fragrant herbs! I used all dried herbs, but you can use fresh if you’d like. I suggest amounts for either. There’s parsley, basil, and rosemary plus a hint of garlic powder. With all of that flavor, plus the way the dough smells as you work with it– well, it pretty much guarantees something fantastic.
Real quick. See the rolls in the left picture below? That’s before they rise for 30-45 minutes before baking. On the right, you can see they’re much puffier and all up in each other’s business. Just wanted to show you the difference between the two. Allowing the rolls to rise that 2nd time ensures a fluffier roll.
And then it’s time to bake. The herb rolls will be done when they’re golden brown and when your kitchen smells like an herb garden. I prefer to bake the rolls in a skillet, but it’s just as easy to bake in a casserole dish or baking pan. Make sure you don’t break them apart until ready to serve because the edges could slightly dry out.
There’s a crunch from the sea salt on top and the centers are as soft as a mountain of cushy pillows. They’re truly out of this world eaten right from the oven and when you set them down on the table, I swear all eyes will immediately dart over their way. I know a side of rolls can be an afterthought when you’re preparing dinner, but after one taste of these homemade sea salt & herb rolls– you’ll be proud you didn’t bake rolls from a tube or package. You got this!
Sea salt & herb skillet rolls are the fluffiest, softest, most flavorful homemade rolls to have with dinner tonight!
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F*
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)*
- 2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted + slightly cooled and divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons each: dried rosemary, dried basil, & dried parsley*
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic)
- 3 cups (390g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
- sea salt, for topping
- Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
- If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and 2 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle– add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl– I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
- Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 6 equal pieces for a total of 12 pieces that are a little larger than golfball size. Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased oven-proof skillet. Brush the rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle each with sea salt. (Do no discard any leftover melted butter, it’s amazing brushed on the rolls after they bake too!) Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 25-28 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm.
- Cover leftover rolls and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: After dough has risen for two hours in step 3, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, then remove from the refrigerator and continue with step 4. OR freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4.
- Milk: Do not sub low fat milk. Whole milk is key to best taste and texture. If anything, 2% may be subbed.
- Yeast: If using instant yeast, the rise time may be a little less. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Herbs: You can use finely chopped fresh herbs instead, I would increase to 1 Tablespoon each. Play around with the amounts of herbs you use. These amounts produce a highly flavored herb roll.
- Special Tools: 10 – 12 inch oven-safe skillet
- Adapted from honey butter rolls.
Keywords: skillet rolls, sea salt herb rolls