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 (43°C)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)*
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 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 2 teaspoons minced garlic)
- 3 cups (390g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
- flaked or coarse sea salt, for topping
- Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. *If you do not own a stand mixer, you can do this in a large mixing bowl and in the next step, mix the dough together with a large wooden spoon/rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle. A hand mixer works, but the sticky dough repeatedly gets stuck in the beaters. Mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula is a better choice.*
- Add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, rosemary, basil, parsley, garlic powder, and 1 cup flour. With a dough hook or paddle attachment, mix/beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the remaining flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If the dough seems too wet to a point where kneading (next step) would be impossible, beat in more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough. Dough should be soft and a little sticky, but still manageable to knead with lightly floured hands.
- Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 3 full minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3 full minutes.
- 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. Takes about 2 hours. For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
- Grease a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet or 9×13 inch baking pan. If using cast iron skillet and it’s already seasoned, no need to grease it. You can also bake the rolls on a lined baking sheet.
- Shape the rolls: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. (Just eyeball it– doesn’t need to be perfect!) Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange in prepared skillet/baking pan or a couple inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
- 2nd Rise: Cover shaped rolls with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until puffy, about 45-60 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It’s best to bake the rolls towards the bottom of the oven so the tops don’t burn.)
- Bake the rolls: Bake for 23-27 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. If you notice the tops browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, brush warm rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle tops with sea salt. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 6. Place shaped rolls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. Once frozen, the dough balls won’t stick together anymore and you can place them in a freezer bag if needed. On the day you serve them, arrange the dough balls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, then let them thaw and rise for about 4-5 hours. Bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked rolls. Allow them to cool completely and then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Reheat as desired. If reheating the whole pan, lightly cover and reheat in a 300°F (149°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warm.
- Overnight Instructions: Prepare the recipe through step 6. Cover the shaped rolls tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 3 hours before you need them the next day, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1-2 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to about 15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. Continue with step 5.
- Milk: Whole milk is best. If needed, you can substitute with lower fat milk or nondairy milk. Avoid nonfat milk.
- Yeast: You can substitute instant yeast with no other changes to the recipe. The rise times may be a little shorter. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Fresh Herbs: You can substitute the dried herbs with 1 Tablespoon EACH of freshly chopped herbs.
- Salt & Sea Salt Topping: Flaky or coarse sea salt is best for topping. If you’re ever shopping online for flaky sea salt and need a recommendation, I use and love Maldon sea salt. I do not recommend coarse/flaky sea salt in the dough– you need fine salt. You can use fine sea salt or regular table salt.
- Flour: I recommend bread flour for extra chewy and flaky rolls. You can use all-purpose flour if needed instead. Either flour is fine and there are no other changes to the recipe if you use one or the other.
- Baking Pan: If baking in a skillet, make sure it’s 10-12 inches and oven-safe. I always use this 10.25 inch skillet. You can also bake in a 9×13 inch baking pan or on a lined baking sheet.
Keywords: skillet rolls, sea salt herb rolls