Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Rolls: Caramelized Onion, Rosemary and Love

My first culinary holiday was a success.  There was not any more pressure seeing that I started this little blog, but there were some hungry eaters.  My father woke up at 4am just to make it in time for the big meal (and the Dallas kickoff). 

Being the strategist I am, I decided to go simple on the things that mattered, and then experiment on the things that worse case I could trash and run to the store day of.  Below is the account of one of my experiments.  Simply Scratch posted this a while ago and I thought I could smell them through my computer screen.  But real yeast?!  Could I do it?  Would it rise?

The answer was YES as soon as I saw my little love call out to me at Traders.  I had taken Chris with me to do the holiday shopping, more for the moral support I suppose.  He returned to the cart only to find me clinging to my precious little Rosemary bush in the shape of a Christmas tree!!!  Divine!

So then all I needed was my sweet Grandmother Shirley who knew her way around dough.  Good thing she arrived a few days early to help! 

First get out all your ingredients, including your tree.  Grandma eventually got the hang of my arranging and flashing (as in camera... gosh people!)

For this recipe you will need 1 large sweet onion, 2 cloves of garlic (per Simply Scratch), fresh rosemary, honey, kosher salt, all purpose flour, yeast, butter, olive oil and water.

Simply Scratch's recipe calls for whole wheat flour, which I would advocate on any day, but I was out.  So I used all purpose all the way around.

I began by combining my yeast (active dry, 2 tsp) and warm water (1 1/2 c).  Being my first time with yeast, I guess I was waiting for magic to happen or something.  Make sure the water is WARM.  We're talking goldie-locks "just right" warm.  Temperature is important with yeast.

Add the honey (1 tbs) and olive oil (3 tbs) then let it "sit."  The ingredients need time to get to know one another- who's gonna play what roll role etc.

At this point Grandma has chopped up the onions and the garlic and they are beginning to caramelize.  These are like candy to me.  They need time with the butter (1 tbs), oil (1 tbs) and a sprinkle of salt.  About 20 min on low-med heat.

Then in a separate bowl combine salt (2 tsp) with the flour (called for 3 cups, but we added more by the end since it was a little too moist) and rosemary (2 sprigs with leaves removed and chopped).  Enjoy the chopping here, folks.  Forget the roses, stop and smell the rosemary!  It's the herb of friendship and it's aromas are recommended to reduce stress and anxiety.  It's such a pleasant little piney herb.  A little goes a long way.

Combine the onions/garlic in (let them cool a little before adding them).  Then add the yeast mixture.  Laurie said "give it a stir" but I remembered "give it a toss" (I guess I was anxious to get my hands in there).  Either way...  Grandma Shirley said "now... this is always when the phone rings."

keeping Larry (father in law) and Chris out of the kitchen for now.

Then let it sit in a bowl with a tea towel.  Grandma included that the towel should always be damp.  Let sit 1 1/2- 2 hours

It was risen!  It was risen indeed!

I then kneaded it a while (about 20 times) and divided it into about 12 individual rolls and placed them on a cooking sheet.

One more covering.  I kept feeling like I was putting them down for a nap.

(nap #2) for 20 min... beauty sleep.

Then bake at 400 degrees.  15-20 min total.  Half way through brush with melted butter.  I know... you're drooling now.

They came out lovely.  So delicious.  Easily warmed up right before turkey time the following day!


  1. we made rolls (with yeast) for the first time, too! Just plain ones, but so good that we came home and made more. It was fun and we felt so accomplished! I also remembered the sugar in the pumpkin pies this year. All around success.

  2. Loved the Grandmother addition- makes this a truly authentic & superb blog addition!
    Also enjoyed the napping comment- too cute!
    Love from Auntie Cheryl

  3. Well done honey, and they were indeed amazing :-) Glad I could take part and play such an important role in the process... the process of eating, that is!

  4. Look at you! You're starting to do tutorials. Yeast is nothing to be afraid of. Great pics, and it's nice to see your family all together for Thanksgiving in Oregon. No Grant?