These soft, fragrant rolls have become a staple of family gatherings.In past versions, I've used a variety of different herb blends in the batter, but this Italian blend is a favorite and a sure-fire crowd-pleaser -- and the added cheese topping doesn't hurt either. My 13 year old niece actually said, "On my next birthday, I don't want a cake, I just want a basket full of these rolls!" High praise, indeed! The long rising times are key to getting the right texture so resist the urge to rush things. —vrunka
active dry yeast (1 tbsp)
fresh oregano, minced
fresh chive, minced
fresh rosemary, minced
fresh parsley, minced
egg, slightly beaten
all-purpose flour, plus up to 1/2 cup more for kneading
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and let stand until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt, herbs, butter, egg and milk. Stir in 3-1/4 cup of flour and mix well.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth, elastic and not sticky, about 10 minutes; add flour as needed to prevent sticking, but no more than 1/2 cup. (If you have a stand mixer, you may choose to do this step with a dough hook on medium-low speed.) Place dough in well-oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or as long as 24 hours.
Remove dough from refrigerator and knead until smooth. Form 12 balls of equal size and place them in a well-greased baking pan (9x13 works well). Cover with plastic wrap (you may want to oil the wrap slightly if you think the rolls will come in contact with the plastic.) Allow to rise to about double in size. In my kitchen, this usually takes about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the tops of the rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the tops of the rolls. If you like, add a few leaves of rosemary to the top for garnish.