Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It is without a doubt the perfect excuse to spend quality time with family and friends. This year were invited to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at my brother in law’s parents home. We always love going to Jim and Kathy’s house. It seems like nearly everyone in the house is an amazing cook and it’s always fun to see what dishes others have to contribute. This year we had both turkey and ham, stuffing, potatoes, yams, ginger carrots, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, chicken livers, bruschetta, pumpkin pies, apple pie, cookies, whipped cream, cheeses, and so much more. Their house is noisy with dishes clanking, champagne bottles popping, people laughing and the sound of football on the TV. There was so much food that I think I gained 5 pounds yesterday…
One of my contributions to this year’s great feast was my fresh baked herb rolls. I’ve been making these savory little herb rolls for nearly 25 years. I’ve baked them for countless holiday dinners and it’s to the point that no dinner is quite complete without them. What makes these rolls so special is that I like to use fresh herbs snipped directly from my garden. I have planted rosemary, parsley and chives next to the back door specifically for this purpose. I would love to take complete credit for this fabulous recipe but I can’t. This recipe was originally adapted from my Good Housekeeping Illustrated cookbook.
4 1/2 cups flour
1/3 c. baking sugar
2 packages quick rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. nonfat milk
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 c. finely chopped mixed herbs (parsley, rosemary and chives)
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbls. nonfat milk for the glaze
In a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, add your sugar, yeast, salt and 1 1/2 c. flour. Put the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave about 1 minute until milk is very warm and butter is melted. Add the milk and butter to mixing bowl. Using a dough hook on your mixer, slowly mix for about 3 minutes, meanwhile scraping the side of the bowl. Add another 1/2 c. of flour and the eggs. Keep mixing for about 2 more minutes. Add the remaining flour. Mix for another 8 minutes or until the dough is mixed well and elastic.
On a lightly floured surface add the dough from the bowl. Flatten dough with your hands and knead the fresh herbs into the dough for about 2 more minutes. Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Punch down the dough and let rest for about 10 – 15 minutes. Separate dough into 24 even sized pieces (1 1/2 ounces each). Roll into balls. Place on silpat lined or greased cookie sheet and cover with a cloth. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg glaze. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden. When the herb rolls are done, pull from oven and let cool for a bit on wire racks. Serve warm with fresh cream butter. Makes about 24 herb gems.