~ Herbed, Muffin-Tin-Baked Yeast-Bread Dinner Rolls ~
Be prepared to expand your waistband. If you're a person who sits down to dinner and likes to dip your rustic bread in a side of tangy tomato-based pasta sauce or savory American-style gravy, these muffin-tin-baked personal-sized dinner rolls are better than any slice of rustic bread any day of the week. This (my) bread-machine-mixed dough bakes up chewy and light on the inside with plenty of crusty exterior. Put a basket of these on your dinner table and let the dipping begin.
When a slightly-adjusted Sicilian-style pizza-dough recipe...
The inspiration for these came when my mother mentioned that my Sicilian-style pizza dough would make great bread or dinner rolls. My first reaction was to laugh, but, after thinking about it, I decided it was worth giving the idea a try -- "nothing ventured, nothing gained", as mom always said. Thing is, when I baked them freeform on a flat pan, while they were good, they simply were not as light on the inside. The muffin tin corrected that, in that, the shape of a muffin cup, with its steep, gently-sloped sides seriously promoted their rising and developing beautifully-domed tops.
I use my favorite herby Sicilian-style pizza dough recipe, and, I typically put some herbs in my dough even when I'm making a basic tomato-sauce and mozzarella-cheese pizza. That said, there are many types of pizza dough. Feel free to use your own favorite recipe, it should work (no guarantees though) as long as it is Sicilian-style, but please add the herbs to it -- it's the flavored dough that makes these rolls amazing. If you'd like to try my recipe, you can make my dough via conventional hand mixing and kneading, you can make it via a stand mixer or a food processor, or, you can do what I currently do: allow the bread machine to do most of the work for me, which simplifies the process considerably -- and yields 1 dozen, amazing, 3"-round dinner rolls.
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, Italian seasoning blend and coarse-grind black pepper
1 packet granulated dry yeast
no-stick cooking spray, for preparing muffin tins
~ Step 1. To prepare the dough, place all ingredients in pan of bread machine in the order listed, except for the yeast. Using your index finger, make a small indentation ("a well") on top of the dry ingredients, but not so deep that it reaches the wet layer. Place the yeast into the indentation. Insert the pan into the bread machine, plug the machine in, select the "Pizza Dough" cycle, then press "Start". You will have 2 pounds, 2-ounces of bread dough, ready to use, in 55 minutes.
~Step 3. Spray insides of 12, standard-sized muffin cups with no-stick spray. Remove dough from bread pan. Divide dough into 12, slightly less than 3-ounce pieces (2 7/8-ounces each is great). The best way to do this is with a kitchen scale. Form each piece of dough into a ball, placing one in each muffin cup. Cover the pan(s) with a lint-free cotton towel and allow dough a short rise, in pans, for 15 minutes.
~Step 4. Uncover the pans and bake rolls on center rack of preheated 350° oven, 20-22 minutes, or until lightly-browned and hollow sounding when tapped with the knuckle of index finger. Do not overcook these rolls. Italian bread is rarely deep-golden in color. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack. Cool rolls in pans 5-6 minutes prior to removing them from pans to wire rack cool completely.
Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or reheated.
Special Equipment List: bread machine (optional); 2, standard-sized muffin pans, enough for 12 muffins/rolls; kitchen scale; wire cooling rack
Cook's Note: If it's a slider-sub you prefer, by making the dough balls half-sized, you can easily make ~ Baked-in-Muffin-Tins Slider-Size Pizza-Dough Rolls ~.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018