Christina Fogal's Twisted Dinner Rolls
Yield: 12 rolls
1 package yeast (¼ ounce)
¼ cup warm water (110-115°F)
¾ cup warm whole milk (110-115°F)
1/3 cup butter, melted
¼ cup sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
3 ¼ cups flour
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk (whole or 2%)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, dried onion, poppy seeds or sea salt, (or a combination of any of these.)
Remove 1 teaspoon of sugar from the ¼ cup of sugar. Place this 1 teaspoon sugar into a small bowl with the yeast. Add the warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit for 5 minutes. If the yeast is foamy, continue on to the next step. If not, The yeast is bad and you need to start over with fresh yeast.
In a mixer bowl, add the rest of the sugar, salt, egg, melted butter, warm milk and yeast/water mixture.
With a paddle attachment, mix briefly on low. Add ½ of the flour. Mix on low then raise the speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth. Add the remaining flour and mix on low. Gradually raise the speed to medium and mix just until a soft dough forms.
Put dough in a lightly buttered bowl. Turn once to grease the top. Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.
When my home is cold, I turn my oven on to 250°F. Once it reaches temperature, I turn the oven off and place the bowl with the covered dough inside. It rises great in the warm oven.
Punch the dough down. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (I divide the dough into 4 large pieces and then cut each of the wedges into 3 small pieces.)
On an non-floured surface, roll each piece into a 15 inch rope. I have found that using flour makes rolling the dough into a rope more difficult. If the dough sticks a tiny bit, it’s easier to roll. But if you need to, very lightly flour your work surface.
Starting at one end, loosely wrap dough around itself to form a coil. Press the end to the coil and gently pinch to seal. (Don't tuck the end under, this will make the dough rise up in more of a cone shape.)
Place each roll 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
Cover the baking sheets with a towel and let the dough rise for 45 minutes (or until doubled.)
Make the egg wash:
Whisk the egg yolk and milk together. Brush the egg wash over risen rolls. Sprinkle with toppings.
Bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve the rolls warm. The rolls can be made the day ahead and kept tightly sealed at room temperature. Warm them before serving. All the topping work great if they are made a day ahead - except for the sea salt. Unfortunately the sea salt tends to dissolve.