I have been baking sourdough consistently now for a couple of years. I don't bake every week, but every few weeks I will take the time and make 3-4 loaves of bread to eat over the next weeks or to bring to a party to share. As much as I love sourdough, I want to spread my wings and bake more types of bread. I have always aspired to be a proficient baker like my grandma. I remember her baking nearly every weekend. Maybe that isn't quite correct, but to my memory as a child, it seemed like she was always baking bread rolls or cinnamon rolls or other equally delicious things. When I came across this recipe online I decided the time had come to try some dinner rolls. A while back I had made Danish Rye Butter Buns (http://invitedtodinner.blogspot.com/2011/09/danish-rye-butter-buns.html) and they turned out wonderful. The time came to bake rolls again. Conveniently, I had homemade pesto in the refrigerator from my last batch of pesto.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Dinner Rolls
1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
3/4 warm water (about 105F)
1/2 cup milk (preferably not skim)
1 large egg
1/2 diced sun-dried tomatoes (I bought them in a jars in strips and cut them into smaller pieces)
1/2 pesto (homemade is best!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Stir yeast and warm water together in a stand mixer bowl. Let it sit until dissolved. In another bowl whisk milk and egg. Add this to the yeast mixture once the yeast is activated. Stir together. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, salt and wheat flour into the liquid mixture. Add white flour (start with 2 cups) until you have a floury dough. Let the the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Knead the dough with a dough hook on low speed until dough pulls away from sides (about 9 minutes). You may need more flour depending on how wet your pesto is.
Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk - about an hour. Dust your counter with flour and pull out the dough. Divide dough into 12 pieces. To shape each roll, you will make turns like when you rise a sourdough loaf. Tuck the outside edges in until the roll is firm and will hold it's shape.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place into a parchment lined 9x12 pan. Arrange in the pan with a little space between rolls, though they will come together as they rise. Once all the rolls have been made and placed in the pan, let rise a second time until they fill the pan and are airy looking, about 35-40 minutes. Once the rolls have risen, bake until they are golden brown, about 18 minutes. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan and return to oven to melt the cheese.
Let the rolls cool on a rack for a few minutes. They are best eaten the same day, but will last a couple of days if wrapped tightly. Makes 12 rolls.