Broker Check
Life Isn’t Soccer...

Life Isn’t Soccer...

So use your hands! Studies have shown that hands-on work fulfills a primal need to make useful creations.

Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

The benefits of tending your garden, knitting, cooking or any other simple activity requiring the use of your hands is receiving increased attention of psychologists. Speaking for myself, I make bread as my escape from the stresses of our technology dominated world. It is a great way to become immersed in a task which results in a tangible product to be enjoyed by family and friends. I refer to the time spent mixing the ingredients, proofing the yeast, kneading the dough, watching it rise and preparing it to bake as my therapy. Of course, the smell of bread baking wafting through the house is a sensory reward in itself! My current favorite bread to bake is made in an old cast iron skilled given to me by my mother:


Total time: 3 HOURS, 35 MINUTES


  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk (do not substitute low fat milk for this recipe), warmed to about 110°F
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted + slightly cooled and divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons each: dried rosemary, dried basil, & dried parsley (for best results, substitute 3 Tablespoons fresh herbs for the dry)  
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • 3 cups bread flour plus more for work surface
  • Coarse sea salt, for topping

Special Equipment:

10 - 12 inch oven-safe skillet


  1. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you prefer to take the stairs vs. the elevator, use a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and 2 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle-- add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl (I use nonstick spray). Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 150°F, then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
  4. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 6 equal pieces for a total of 12 pieces that are a little larger than golf ball size (I often divide the dough into 24 pieces for easy pull apart tastings). Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased oven-proof skillet. Brush the rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with course sea salt. Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 25-28 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm.

The reception you receive when showing up at dinners and parties with fresh bread is the icing on the therapy cake!