Garlic Dinner Pampushky
Пампушки з часником
I’m a big believer that garlic makes everything taste better. This bread is living proof of my theory. When served plain, which actually never happens in Ukraine, pampushky are just regular, boring dinner rolls. But a few cloves of minced garlic mixed with oil and fresh dill transform them into a delightful Ukrainian treat called pampushky z chasnykom. Pampushky and borscht are the most classic Ukrainian food combination, dating back hundreds of years. Ukrainians even have a saying about it: If a woman cooks borscht for a man, it means she likes him. If she serves the borscht with garlic pampushky, she is in love. As a true son of his country, my husband refuses to eat his borscht without freshly made pampushky topped with lots of garlic. It might sound whimsical, but I see it as the purest form of culinary patriotism. Or maybe he just wants to make sure I still love him dearly.
Makes 16 rolls; serves 6
1 cup whole milk, heated to lukewarm (110° to 115°F)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
5 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus more for oiling the bowl and baking dishes
3 cups all-purpose flour (see Note)
2 teaspoons salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Flaky sea salt, for topping
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy and bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.
Crack 1 of the eggs into the yeast mixture, then add 3 tablespoons of the oil, the flour, and the salt. Using a rubber spatula, stir until well mixed and a rough dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until soft, supple, and pliable, 1 to 2 minutes. Add a little more flour if the dough feels too sticky (see Note). Shape the dough into a ball.
Lightly oil a second large bowl and put the dough into it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place (70° to 80°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Oil two 9-inch square baking dishes. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide it into sixteen equal portions. Form each portion into a ball. Arrange half of the balls in each prepared baking dish, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. Cover each dish with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise again in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg.
Brush the top of each roll with the egg. Bake the rolls until they are a deep golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.
While the rolls are baking, in a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the garlic, and the dill.
When the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven and immediately brush each roll with the garlic oil and top with a tiny pinch of flaky salt. Transfer the rolls to wire racks and let cool before serving. These rolls taste best the day they are baked.
Note: The dough should be very soft and barely sticky. If the dough feels too sticky as you knead, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour. If the dough still seems a bit sticky when you begin forming the balls, lightly oil your hands.