Homemade crusty rosemary sourdough rolls are delicious and aromatic as well as beautiful and foolproof. How can any cook beat that? These artisan sourdough rolls with a tender, toothsome crumb are perfect for serving at dinner, making into sandwiches, or dipping into soup.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Proof Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Yield: 8 large dinner rolls
Mix all ingredients except salt, yeast, rosemary, and olive oil as follows. Combine the starter, 2 ½ cups flour, water, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir well, using your hands if needed, to incorporate all ingredients. The mixture may look dry but will feel slightly sticky to the touch. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for thirty minutes.
Knead in the salt, yeast, and 1 tablespoon rosemary by sprinkling on top of the dough and then kneading until smooth, stretchy, and elastic. You will have to work the dough for about 10 minutes. Check the consistency after a few minutes of kneading. It may seem sticky but should clear the sides of the bowl and should not be too difficult to work with. If it seems very wet, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time. (If using a stand mixer, fit with a dough hook and allow to turn on medium low for about 5 minutes.)
Now, allow for the “first rise.” When the dough is kneaded, place in a bowl lightly sprayed with oil, cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and put it in a warm place to rise between 60-90 minutes, until nearly doubled in size.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil and flour. Dust the top of the parchment with a sprinkle of bread flour or cornmeal.
When the dough has risen, shape the rolls. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces by dividing into half, then quarters, then eighths. Shape each piece into a roll by folding it into itself and rolling into oval shapes. Place on the dusted parchment. Rub the tops with flour. Slice a slash, if desired, using a sharp knife.
Allow the rolls to relax and rise again. Lightly brush the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining rosemary and cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, until puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450° F. Place one rack in the center, and one in the lower middle area. Place an empty baking sheet on the lower rack to get hot while the oven preheats.
When the oven has heated and the rolls have risen, pour one cup of water on the hot empty baking sheet to create steam. Place the rolls inside and bake for 17-21 minutes, until browned outside. Cool rolls on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Rad Tip: Make ahead and freeze. After baking, allow to cool completely, fill a zip top freezer bag, and freeze for up to a month for ultimate freshness.