Everybody seems to have gone on a bread baking binge during our current predicament. Not me though. Sourdough seems to be the going thing, but I’ve never been a huge fan of sourdough. I did work to perfect my salt-rising bread technique (still working on it), and though I kept meaning to make bread, I never got around to it much. But I did, on a rare trip to the market, pick up some yeast, because, well, they told me it was hard to find but there it was. I don’t always have the patience for yeast-based recipes, so I tend to get very excited about simple ones. That’s why I gravitate to rolls. I love a fresh, warm roll oozing with butter, and I find them very forgiving. From soft Honey Black Pepper Cornmeal Rolls to flavorful Herbed Focaccia Rolls a good roll will make everyone happy. These pillowy rolls are tangy with ricotta and parmesan with a nice herbal note from rosemary. And best of all, they can be made ahead.
You can shape the rolls, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. Bring the dough to room temperature before baking as directed. The rolls are really at their best right out of the oven, but any leftovers can be wrapped in foil and heated. I love these with a nice sprinkle of flaky salt on the top.
Rosemary Ricotta Rolls
¼ cup whole milk, warmed to about 110
1 cup whole milk ricotta, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
3 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Flaky sea salt
- Place the milk, ricotta, eggs, olive oil, salt, pepper, yeast and 2 cups of the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir with a spoon or spatula to combine, then add the rosemary and parmesan and give it another good stir. Fit the dough hook to the mixer and beat on medium-low until combined. Slowly mix in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time until the dough comes together in a mass. You may not need all the flour. Knead the dough on medium high until smooth and elastic, 4 – 5 minutes.
- Place the ball of dough in a bowl coated with olive oil and turn the ball to coat it in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ hours, until doubled in size. When the dough is risen, divide it into 15 evenly sized portions and roll each into a ball. Place the dough balls on a parchment lined 9 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top of the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, until golden and firm. Serve warm.