Buttery Herbed Dinner Rolls — Bake-Ahead Batches

These tender rolls, flecked with fresh herbs, are a total crowd-pleaser.

It may sound funny, but yeasted dough takes my breath away. It always has. When I see it I want to touch it. I want smell it. About 30 years ago, I was watching a bakery segment on Sesame Street when a glimpse of hundreds of puffy round loaves rising on speed racks touched my heart. Even though I was just a kid, I can remember the moment clearly, along with the feelings of amazement and intrigue that washed over me. At that instant, I heard my calling. I saw that dough and I knew that we were meant to be together.

These days I make my living creating dough and batters. I feel lucky every day. Mostly, I’m grateful because I get to do what I love. But I’m also happy because I’ve discovered a secret: Kneading and shaping a tender dough is one of life’s natural stress relievers.

Get the Recipe: Buttery Herbed Dinner Rolls

But you don’t have to trust me on this one. Try it. Even if you use an electric mixer to make the dough, you still must shape the soft little dough mounds into tight balls by hand.

It’s one of the most-fun jobs I can imagine. And it’s easy to do. Put one piece of dough on the work surface, cup your hand over it, and move it in a circular motion.

When you get good at it, you can use two hands and do two balls at a time. And when you get really good at it, you can start to lose yourself in the relaxing motion. Daydream. Start planning that vacation. Or imagine the introduction to your first novel. Just relax and enjoy it. You might discover that dough is your calling too.

Related Links:

Essential Tips for Home Bakers from Pastry Chefs Across the Country

Fruit Sweetened Desserts

Every Way to Make Banana Bread

50 Puff Pastry Treats

12 Things You Didn't Know You Could Freeze

Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

Next Up

Apple Fritters — Bake-Ahead Batches

These light and crisp apple fritters get their gorgeous golden color from a quick trip into the fryer!

Pumpkin Scones — Bake-Ahead Batches

Bake tender, light-as-air scones enriched with seasonal pumpkin and spices. Top them with cream-cheese icing for a sweet treat.

Chocolate Graham Crackers — Bake-Ahead Batches

Make from-scratch graham crackers with chocolate for the best simple cookies — or s'mores starter — you never knew you wanted.

Pistachio-Orange Shortbread — Bake-Ahead Batches

This dense, crumbly cookie is studded with orange zest and nuts, and it's topped with a chocolate drizzle.

Apple-Cinnamon Blondies — Bake-Ahead Batches

These sweet squares are a cross between a chewy, buttery blondie and a fragrant apple cake.

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

These nostalgic treats are chock-full of real oats, studded with nuts and raisins, and filled with a simple cream-cheese frosting that's just sweet enough.

Orange Poppy Bundt Cake — Bake-Ahead Batches

Tangy buttermilk, fragrant orange zest and plenty of poppy seeds add deep flavor to this moist, tender-crumbed cake.

Raspberry Chocolate Bread Pudding — Bake-Ahead Batches

Turn leftover bread into a rich, easy dessert studded with chocolate chips and raspberries.

Blueberries-and-Cream Slab Pie — Bake-Ahead Batches

Change the way you look at blueberries forever by making this simple slab pie out of wild, not cultivated, berries.

Kitchen Squad: Make-Ahead Dinners

The experts from Food Network and Food52 developed these make-ahead dinner recipes for busy families.

Related Pages