Do you get excited when, at a restaurant, the waiter brings the bread basket to table? I do. I love bread rolls and usually I can't wait to sample the varieties of rolls that are presented before a meal. They arrive nice and warm and I just love to watch the butter (I usually cut a nice chunk of butter for my rolls) melt as I slather it on the hot rolls. Even better? Biting into the warm buttered roll. Simple pleasures, eh?
Usually, this leaves me quite full before the main meal arrives. Which is fine because most times, I am content to just order a soup (I am a cheap date) and soak it up with the left over bread rolls.
Here's what I love in my dinner roll;
1. They have to be soft. Pillowy soft. Yeah, I've slept on some stone-hard pillows but I'm talking down-feather softness. So soft you bite into it and get lost.
2. There's a difference between being soft and pillowy and being like cotton candy. I don't want rolls that are like cotton candy. Why? Because when you bit into cotton candy, it feels like your eating nothing. Sweet nothing. I like to chew my bread. I like to taste my bread. Soft but tasty and slightly chewy is what I want.
3. The rolls have to be sweetish. Not sweet, god forbid. Just sweetish. So good you almost don't need the butter. Almost but you'd be a fool to forgo the butter. Seriously.
4. They have to be served hot. Well, not piping hot. But almost. Warm isn't good enough because the butter won't just melt in the bread which, I can't emphasise enough, is crucial.
5. Enough. You don't eat one dinner roll. You don't even eat two. If there is a bread basket, there has to be an abundant supply of bread. There has to be bread left over.
The good news is, it's not too difficult to make dinner rolls at home. Which is great for me because I don't have to wait for the occasional (did I say occasional? I meant very rare) date night to feast on dinner rolls.
Yesterday, in response to a sudden craving for rolls, I decided to make a batch for myself. And, I decided to experiment a little with flavour. I used olive oil instead of butter, mixed some parsley into the dough and some instant mash (as in instant mash potatoes — the kind that comes in a box).
A while ago, I read in Donna Currie's Cookistry that adding instant mash (or actual mashed potatoes) helps make bread soft and fluffy. She's right. And it adds flavour too.
These parsley flavoured rolls were tasty and certainly satisfied my criteria for a satisfying roll. Heck, they were more than satisfying. They were yummy.