I love baking bread. I’ve definitely always loved eating it.
I find creating a dough, watching it transform, then filling your whole house with that wonderful baking bread aroma quite enjoyable.
This garlic, herb, and cheese bread roll recipe is super straightforward and simple. No crazy steps, no super long processes, just a beautiful easy dough. Even if working with yeast intimidates you, I encourage you to give this recipe a try.
How to Make Perfect Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls
What’s instant yeast? Can I use active rise yeast instead?
Think of instant yeast as a sort of foolproof shortcut ingredient. It’s also labelled rapid rise or quick rise yeast and available at most grocery stores (or you can buy my all time favorite yeast on Amazon).
Instant yeast is formulated to allow you to skip proofing (aka the step where you combine the yeast with warm liquid for 5 minutes). You can add it directly into the mix with all of the ingredients and it will increase your rising time.
If you don’t have or can’t find instant yeast, you can easily use active dry yeast instead. Simply combine it with the warm liquid called for in the recipe and allow it to proof for 5 minutes before adding into the bowl with the other ingredients. Most active dry yeast these days are formulated so they usually don’t technically require proofing. But skipping will lengthen the rising period as it will take the yeast longer to get moving.
Tips for Forming & Kneading Bread Dough
This recipe basically directs you to throw everything together in the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and let the machine do the work until the dough is soft, smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky. It’s ALWAYS better to have a dough that starts more sticky and ends up light and fluffy out of the oven than to add too much additional flour and end up with dense or tough rolls. Remember, as the dough rises it will become less sticky as well.
Can I knead dinner roll dough by hand?
However, if you don’t have a mixer you can knead this dough by hand. Click here to see my step-by-step video on how to knead dough perfectly by hand.
How to Tell When Dough Is Risen
A lot of factors will influence when your dough is done rising and ready to be shaped. Place two fingers in the risen dough up to the second knuckle and then take them out. If the indentations remain the dough is ready to be shaped. If not, cover and let the dough rise longer until the indentations remain. To tell if the shaped bread rolls are done rising, tough the side of one lightly with your finger. If the indentation remains then it’s ready for the oven.
How to Shape Bread Rolls
Once the dough is risen, press it down to deflate it slightly. Use a bench scraper to section the dough into 15 equal pieces. Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly equal in size. However, if you’re a perfectionist you can actually weigh the entire mass of dough, divide that number by 15, then portion each piece perfectly by weight.
As you’re shaping each piece into a round, make sure to pinch the dough into one central point to create a tight ball. This will help the rolls rise beautifully. You can also get creative with the shapes. Check out my video post on 5 ways to shape bread rolls here.
Brush the dough balls with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes this time. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
How to Make Dinner Rolls Ahead of Time
Basically all yeast dough can be made ahead of time and baked later. Refrigerating dough basically slows the yeast activity and can actually allow more flavor to develop!
Make the dough all the way through to rising once and shaping the rolls. Once the rolls are shaped, cover them and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature as the oven preheats before baking as the recipe directs.
If the rolls haven’t doubled in size yet, allow to sit at room temperature until they do. Note that this can take several hours depending on the warmth of your kitchen. If it’s a cold day, preheat the oven to the lowest heat setting for a few minutes, turn it off, then place the pan of dough in the oven to help speed up the rising time.
The rolls are best served the day they’re baked. However, you can easily store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat the rolls briefly in the oven or toaster oven at 300°F until warmed through to refresh.