¼ cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
I (1/4 ounce) envelope 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
4 to 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 tbs. chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt of flaky salt
HOW TO MAKE IT
In a petite French oven, melt ½ cup of the butter over medium heat. Add the milk and sugar and stir to combine. Using a thermometer, check the temperature of the butter and milk mixture; when it's l05°F, remove it from the heat. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Let the yeast bloom for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. If mixture does not bubble and smell "yeasty," throw it out and start over.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 4 cups of flour. Turn the mixer to low and knead until just combined, about I minute. Add the egg, I½ tablespoons of the chopped herbs, half of the garlic, and the kosher salt, and continue kneading on low speed until soft and smooth, tacky but not sticky, adding the remaining ¼ cup flour if the dough is too wet.
- On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area for about I½ hours, until doubled in size.
- Remove the plastic wrap and gently punch down the dough. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, then shape into small balls about 2 ounces each for 18 dough balls in total.
- Butter a large cast-iron roasting pan and place the shaped dough into the dish. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- In a small cast-iron fry pan, melt the remaining¼ cup butter with the remaining garlic. Gently brush the dough with the melted garlic butter, top with the remaining herbs, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve warm.