Homemade dinner rolls can make even the simplest meal special, don’t you think? And these buttery, cheesy, herb and garlic crescents bear no resemblance to the cardboard tube variety that you find in the supermarket refrigerator section. I have taken a basic dough and fashioned it into two different shapes, first slathering the dough with compound butter, and adding a little shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. The results are very delicious!
Fantans are like mini pull-apart rolls. Simply roll out the dough and spread it with the soft herb-garlic butter. Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the top.
Then slice the dough crosswise into strips and stack the strips, one atop the other. Cut them into twelve pieces and set into muffin cups.
Proof and bake, then enjoy! The crescents are just as simple. Roll the dough into a circle and spread with the compound butter. Cut into sixteen wedges and roll each into a crescent-shaped roll. Place on a baking sheet and shower on the cheese.
Once again, let the rolls rise and then bake. If you have any leftover compound butter, spread it on your freshly baked rolls. Heavenly! This recipe makes a lot of dinner rolls, but you can package and freeze them. What could be nicer than a warm crescent roll to enjoy alongside your soup on a cold winter day?
Savory Dinner Rolls
- For the dough:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) very soft, unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- For the Garlic-Herb Butter:
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 small clove of garlic , peeled and minced, crushed to a paste with a little coarse salt
- 1 heaped teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves , finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves , finely minced
- A large pinch of kosher salt
- Coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese , about 1 cup, or more to your liking
To make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and let stand until small bubbles form. In a large mixing bowl blend together the milk, sugar, salt, and egg. Add the yeast mixture, the very soft butter, and 2 cups of flour. Beat vigorously with a whisk to make a smooth mixture. With a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon stir in another cup of flour and mix to form a dough. Add additional flour until the dough is soft and not sticky to handle.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and springy. You will see little bubbles on the surface of the dough. Place the dough in a large, buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to rise. This will take from 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the dough rises make the Garlic-Herb Butter: In a medium bowl, combine the softened butter, garlic paste, minced herbs, and salt. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
When the dough has doubled in volume, turn it out onto a floured work surface to deflate, then divide it into 2 equal-sized pieces. Shape the fantans as follows: Roll one piece of dough to an approximately 9x13-inch rectangle. If the dough seems springy, let it rest a while before continuing. Spread on a thin layer of the Garlic-Herb butter, then scatter a handful of cheese over the dough. Cut the dough into 6 strips crosswise and stack the strips. Trim the ends of the stack, if necessary. Cut the strip into 12 even pieces and place each piece, cut side showing, in a well-greased, light-colored muffin tin*. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for 20 to 30 minutes. While the dough rises, heat the oven to 375°F. Before placing in the oven, brush the tops of the rolls with a little more softened butter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until handsomely golden brown.
To shape the crescents: Roll out one piece of dough to an approximately 12-inch circle. Spread with a thin layer of Garlic-Herb butter. Cut the dough into 16 wedges and roll each, from the wide end into a crescent shape. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, with the point of each roll tucked securely underneath. Sprinkle some shredded cheese over top of each roll, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise for about 20 minutes. When puffy and light, place in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown.
If you have any Garlic-Herb butter leftover, spread it on the warm rolls when you serve them. To freeze the rolls, let them cool completely and place in freezer bags. Warm the frozen rolls in a 325°F oven to heat and refresh them.
*Use a light-colored muffin tin to avoid over-browning the bottoms of the fantan rolls.