garlic rolls

Greetings! I know garlic confit sounds a little fancy, but it’s basically slow cooking a bunch of peeled garlic cloves in oil in a 200 degree F. oven to bring out their sweetness as well as make them soft and spreadable. This takes about 2 hours in the oven, though, so if you’d rather not, you can also just roast the garlic bulbs at 425 for about 30 minutes or so wrapped in foil with the tops cut off and each bulb drizzled with olive oil. I tried these making these rolls with both types of garlic, and they are equally good, but one of the benefits of making the garlic confit is that you also have this amazing garlic infused olive oil as an end product that you can then use in many other recipes and dishes!

I kept changing the name for these, going back and forth between a name with three ingredients to two, then finally settled with the simple ‘garlic rolls’. After all, cinnamon rolls are just called cinnamon rolls, even though they often have other flavors and features, right? The marjoram is a new ingredient for me that I haven’t worked with before. I can’t say it’s my new favorite, but maybe I just need to try it a few more times in other things because I really don’t have a strong sense of it. What I mean is that with sage and rosemary, I can easily recall a few dishes were they really shine, really are the stars of those dishes, but with marjoram, I don’t recall ever eating anything where I go, “Wow, I can really taste the marjoram!” I’m curious, does anyone have a favorite dish that strongly features marjoram?

I also made the dough to sit overnight in the refrigerator, which of course you don’t need to do, but I do feel it helps add more flavor to the dough, and the dough seems easier to handle and form when it’s cold. Plus it breaks up the tasks in the overall recipe and it seems easier.

I can easily picture these rolls served with a marinara dipping sauce, or even some of the garlic-infused olive oil, or as a dinner roll, or even just by itself as a snack! They freeze and reheat well too!

garlic rolls (makes 12 rolls, adapted from Taste of Home)


1 batch garlic confit (see recipe below)

2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon minced fresh marjoram

1 Tablespoon minced fresh sage

1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg white with 1 teaspoon water

flaky sea salt


Make one batch of garlic confit (recipe below). You will only be using the garlic cloves for this recipe, so when it has cooled to room temperature, remove cloves from the oil, and store oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator for future uses, such as in salads and sauces. If making the garlic confit well in advance, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can make this up to two weeks in advance.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease or butter a standard 12-count muffin pan. Butter would impart a nicer golden tone on the sides, but feel free to use whichever you prefer. Set aside.

Add the yeast into a large bowl with the water and sugar and set aside until frothy and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and 1 cup of the  flour and stir until smooth, then add 1 and 1/2 cups more of the flour and continue to stir until a dough starts to form. Scrape all contents of the bowl onto a floured work surface and knead dough for about 6 to 8 minutes. Form dough into a ball.

Oil the bowl the dough was initially in with olive oil and turn the ball of dough to coat the entire surface of the dough ball with the oil and cover bowl. Leave in a warm place for about an hour.

After an hour and the dough has doubled, you can either proceed with the recipe or else place the dough, still wrapped and still in the bowl, into the refrigerator to rest overnight, up to 24 hours. Just let sit out at room temperature for about 45 minutes before continuing with the rest of the recipe and to get the dough a little warmer.

While waiting for dough to double in volume, mince the herbs. Remove the garlic cloves from the oil in the garlic confit, reserving the oil for other uses. Add the minced herbs, the butter, and the parmesan to the garlic. Use a fork to smash all the cloves into the butter and parmesan, removing and discarding any peels that may have been missed when you initially made the garlic confit. Set aside.

When dough has doubled in size, punch down dough and roll it out and flatten into a large rectangle shape that is about 13” by 12”. If you don’t have a ruler, visualize a floor tile on your counter that is just slightly wider. 

Spread the garlic/parmesan/butter/herb mixture to the rectangle of dough, but leave a border free of filling about 1/2 inch from all the edges.

Roll up the dough starting from one of the 13” sides, like rolling up a cinnamon roll.

Cut the last 1/2 inch off from both ends, then divide dough into 12 equal portions using either a serrated knife or piece of dental floss. They say you shouldn’t use a mint scented dental floss, but I did and it was fine given that there were herbs in the filling.

Place each portion of dough into each mold in the greased muffin pan. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes. Each dough should rise to a little above the rim of each mold.

Before baking, brush the egg white mixed with water to all the tops. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for about 25-27 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with some flaky sea salt or more parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve warm with marinara sauce, by itself as a dinner roll on the side.

garlic confit: Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Peel 3 bulbs of garlic and place all cloves in an oven-safe small pan with a cup of olive oil. Place in the oven for 2 hours. Remove and let cool. Set aside. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator if making this in advance. Make a double batch if you want to have garlic confit for other uses.

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