- 5 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup warm milk (110°)
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- 18 fresh flat-leaf parsley or sage leaves
In small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and milk. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, beat together eggs and salt until fluffy and pale lemon yellow, about 5 minutes. Add yeast mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add flour in three additions, alternating with melted butter and beginning and ending with flour, then beat in the chopped herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter 18 standard muffin cups. Punch down dough with a wooden spoon. Scoop out and divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Lightly butter a sheet of plastic wrap and place, buttered side down, over rolls. Let rise again until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Uncover rolls and lightly brush tops with egg-milk mixture. Lay 1 whole herb leaf on center of each roll. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a roll comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn out rolls onto rack and let cool completely before serving. Makes 18 rolls.
The French words ?soleil,? and ?lune? (sun, moon) provide the name for this old English recipe because the top of each roll bakes up as golden as the sun, while the bottom is said to be as pale as a harvest moon.