There are recipes that you try just because you really want to know what they taste like, and then there are recipes like these that you know are going to become a regular feature in your kitchen. For me, these Garlic Pull Apart Rolls are a bit of both. A friend sent me a picture of her garlic rolls and I couldn’t rest until I’d made them. One bite and I knew that I would bake these again, and again and then again.
I have since baked these countless times, and it has inspired many a first-time baker to try their hand at this, and you know what? They loved it too! This is just perfect, as dinner rolls, appetizers or even a snack! I’ve had them at breakfast, lunch and dinner, with or without sauces to accompany it and no matter what, it still tastes great!
Because in a way, this is a fool-proof recipe, and each time I make it, it always comes out just right. I’ve made these with all purpose flour and bread flour, and while I do prefer bread flour, it tastes just as great and feels almost as soft with all-purpose flour too!
If you’ve never made bread before, then this is a great project to start with. And it all begins with yeast. If using active dry yeast, activating it is absolutely essential to the rising of your bread. The optimum water temperature should be 38°C / 100°F. It can be one or two degrees higher, but 38°C is the perfect number.
Once you have water at 38°C, add sugar and active dry yeast to it, stir well and let it rise.
If using Instant yeast, substitute 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast with 1 tsp instant yeast and skip the activation process. Simply combine all the ingredients and begin kneading the dough.
The next essential thing is the choice of flour. There are several kinds of flours, but the one we are most accustomed to is all-purpose flour. Sure, you can make these with all-purpose flour ( I have and the results are quite good), but if you really want a porous, airy, high risen bread, you’ll need bread flour. It has a higher gluten content, and gluten is what holds the pocket of air that the yeast will create. More gluten = More air pockets = Higher rise = Softer, spongier bread.
Proper way to measure flour
This is another thing that most new bakers take for granted. When you measure flour, it’s always tempting to dip the measuring cup into the bag of flour and scoop what you need. When you do that, it packs the flour in tightly, effectively giving you an incorrect measurement.
What you really need to do is, spoon flour into the measuring cup, heaping it, and using the handle of the spoon, smooth away the excess.
Now that you have the yeast activated and flour measured, combine them together with salt and milk to form a sticky dough. Knead well using your fingers and the base of your palm until the stickiness disappears and you are left with a soft, smooth dough that springs back when pressed. The kneading will work the gluten in the flour and although it feels like messy work, can actually become very therapeutic instead.
Once the dough is ready, cover with cling film and place in a warm spot to rise and double in size.
Punch out the risen dough and divide into two. Roll each half into a rectangle roughly 1/4 inch thick. You can lightly flour the work surface, if it feels too sticky to work with.
Spread half the garlic and cilantro butter on the dough and roll tightly. Cut into 4 equal parts and place in a greased 8 inch loaf tin.
Repeat with the other half, and don’t mind the spaces around the rolls. During the second proofing, the dough will rise into the spaces.
Cover with cling film and let it sit in a warm spot until the dough has risen up to the edge of the pan. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Brush with milk (for that golden brown crust) and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
Bake for 30 minutes until the internal temperature reads 93°C/200°F (roughly). Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving warm.
These rolls are incredibly soft, airy with a crisp, buttery crust. And the garlic, well, hmmm…. if you love garlic breads like me, you’re gonna love the way your house smells for a couple of hours!
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram (@loveisinmytummy) or Twitter (@loveisinmytummy). I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.