Dill Sour-Cream Rolls
Yield: 12 medium size rolls or one standard size loaf
2 and 1/2 cups bread flour (I use unbleached.)
1 and 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
1 generous tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup warm milk
2 Tbsp. honey (I used clover honey.)
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, large
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, along with the instant yeast, dried onion flakes, kosher salt, dried dill weed, and baking soda.
In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and cream cheese until the cream cheese is well dispersed and there are no longer any large lumps. Mix in the honey and butter, then the warm milk and the egg.
Add the flour gradually to the wet ingredients, mixing with a dough whisk or large fork until the dough starts to look somewhat shaggy and uniformly moist. Lightly flour a clean work surface; dump the dough out onto it and knead the dough by hand for a few minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. (If you like, do the window-pane test to determine when it’s ready; pull off a small glob of dough, no bigger than the size of a walnut, and gently stretch it, pulling it very slowly in opposite directions with both hands, while holding it up to the light. When you can begin to see through it without it tearing, then it’s done being kneaded.)
Place the dough in a greased (or vegetable sprayed) bowl, turning it so it’s lightly coated all over. Cover the bowl with a greased/sprayed piece of plastic wrap, and cover that lightly with a dish towel; place the bowl in a nice warm spot. Let the dough rise for at least one hour, until it’s just about doubled in size. Because this is a rich dough, relatively speaking, it won’t rise quickly and dramatically. I let mine rise for about 75 minutes.
Dump the risen dough out onto your floured work surface again and deflate it with your hands, pressing with gentle firmness. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces; I typically use a bench knife to do this. Round each piece of dough into a ball shape, pinching any seams together tightly. Let the balls of dough rest on your work surface, covered by the greased plastic wrap, for about 12 minutes. Repinch any loose seams on the bottom and place all 12 balls an equal distance apart on a parchment-covered half-sheet pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly cover the top of the shaped dough balls with the greased plastic wrap, then cover it with the dish towel, and let them proof (have their final rise) in a warm spot for about 45-55 minutes. They will puff up a bit but not significantly. Brush the proofed dough balls with melted, unsalted butter.
Bake the rolls for approximately 15 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms are deeply golden. As soon as they emerge from the oven, brush them again with the melted butter; it will soak in almost instantly. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then move them to a rack to finish cooling.
**(This recipe was adapted from The Amish Cook’s Baking Book, by Lorina Eicher and Kevin Williams; Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009. Please see the recipe for “Dilly Bread” on pages 50-51.)**