Garden Herb Rolls! The main concept behind this recipe is to celebrate fragrant, fresh herbs straight from the garden. By chopping the herbs up with garlic and mixing them with a simple blend of seasonings and spices, you are left with a filling that's loaded with intense flavor. By rolling that up with dough and baking it in the oven, the flavor is deeply infused throughout the fluffy bread. The end result is truly magnificent! If you don't have an herb garden, don't fret! You can easily grab some herbs from your local grocery store or farmers market. You are looking for fresh and beautiful herbs- skip the shriveled up and dried out kind that looked left behind. Go for vibrant and brightly colored. In this recipe, the lemon juice and lemon zest accentuate the flavor of the herbs, bringing them to life just a bit more. The nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan shreds pair perfectly with the savory herbs and the dough, while the olive oil provides the perfect richness. A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and freshly cracked black pepper rounds out the flavor with a tickle of spice.
Important Note: This recipe does take time. It's not a weeknight recipe for a busy mom. You must be patient and artful with the process. The dough needs to rise twice (once after kneaded and once after placing in the dish before baking). The herb blend needs to be made with a large amount of herbs with the woody stems picked out, which takes time. Attention to detail is a must when rolling, cutting, and transferring the rolls. If you don't have access to beautiful herbs, I do not recommend this recipe for you. Because it is rather labor intensive, you should only be using the best of the best ingredients. This will provide the results you are looking for.
Here is a video for you to look over to help you better understand the process. Thank you Patricia of @veganstars for the amazing pizza dough recipe. It's all I use now! Enjoy y'all.
Garden Herb Rolls
Makes 8 - 9 large rolls
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon agave, maple syrup, or sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups freshly chopped basil (lemon, lime, blue spice, or sweet)
½ cup freshly chopped parsley, flat leaf or curly, plus some to garnish
¼ cup freshly chopped thyme, plus some to garnish
¼ cup freshly chopped oregano
¼ cup freshly chopped dill or chives
1 cup Follow Your Heart vegan parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ tablespoon rice or cider vinegar
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix the yeast and desired sweetener in a small bowl. Slowly add the warm water, mixing with a fork as your pour. Set aside until it becomes bubbly and happy, around 5 to 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, add the flour, sea salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil. Using the same fork from the yeast mixture, blend and fluff the flour mixture. Once the yeast is bubbly, pour over the flour mixture and use the same fork, mix until the dough combines into one large ball.
4. Rub a small amount of olive oil on desired cutting board/clean surface to knead the dough. Rub some olive oil on your hands and transfer the dough. Knead for a good 5 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and springy. If it is sticking to the board or your hands, add more olive oil as needed.
5. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl with some olive oil. Roll the dough so that it's lightly coated in the oil and cover with a cloth. Place the dough in a warm spot until it doubles in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
6. While the dough rises, make the filling. Combine all of the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
7. On a cutting board or clean surface, transfer the risen dough and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, creating a rectangle, around 15" x 12". Spread the filling out on the dough in an even layer, leaving a small border of dough. Gently and tightly roll the dough up into a log. Using a very sharp knife, cut about a ½ inch off each end. (Bake these separately, they’re the duds but you can still eat 'em). Cut the roll into 8 or 9 pieces and delicately transfer them to a large cast iron skillet or baking sheet. Leave only a little amount of space in between them, as the rolls will help each other rise and form shape.
8. Cover and place in a warm spot for the second rise, an additional 40 minutes. Before popping in the oven, sprinkle the rolls with a little more cheese and a dusting of nutritional yeast. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the rolls have cooked thoroughly and they become springy and the tops are golden brown.
9. Let cool for about 10 minutes and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and thyme. Serve!
You can use store-bought pizza dough if you'd like to take a short cut. These would also be good with vegan puff pastry. Read the instructions on the package for baking temperature and time, but it should be close if not the same as this recipe.
You need a total of 3 cups of freshly chopped herbs. You can play with the variations and amounts. I recommend using soft herbs for the base (basil, parsley, dill, and tarragon), as they are milder and tender, and small amounts of hard herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano), as they are more concentrated in flavor and can be a bit astringent if too much is used.
For the best texture and flavor, I highly recommend using Follow Your Heart parmesan shreds. You can, although, substitute another vegan cheese if need be.
You can make these a day ahead. After the second rise, cover the rolls and place them in the fridge overnight.
To check out more recipes by my friend Patricia, who created the pizza dough, check out her website.