feasting with friends

Lightened Up Olive & Parmesan Rolls

olive & parmesan rollsIt may appear from the collection of recipes on this site that I’m not too concerned with so-called “healthy” eating. Most days I am. Many days I’m not. This recipe falls into the “I am” category 🙂 You see, one of my many weaknesses is bread. I LOVE bread! Especially homemade, warm out of the oven bread. This recipe brings some much needed balance to the overindulgent meals of holiday feasting. I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light magazine. These little bundles of goodness measure up to about 160 calories each with 15% of the calories from fat. Not too bad for bread, and better than the traditional soft rolls served around the holidays.

olive & parmesan rolls

These rolls bake up with a magnificent crunchy exterior and a chewy, dense interior. Definitely more of a bread consistency. They pair beautifully with an antipasti salad, alongside dinner, dipped in seasoned olive oil or my favorite, as a delicious sandwich [a little provolone, a little salami and a dab of pesto = yum]. I intend to make these again with dried cranberries replacing the olives for turkey sandwiches next week. 😀

olive & parmesan rolls


1 Tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water [100 – 110°F]
3 2/3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
3 Tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 Tablespoon water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup [2 ounces] grated Parmesan cheese


•Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours, milk, and next 3 ingredients (milk through oil); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

olive & parmesan rolls

•Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic [about 10 minutes].

olive & parmesan rolls

•Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place [85°F], free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. [Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.]

olive & parmesan rolls

•Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Arrange olives over dough; knead gently 4 to 5 times or until olives are incorporated into dough. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

olive & parmesan rolls

•Preheat oven to 375°F.

•Punch dough down. Divide dough into 16 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 2-inch ball. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions. Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Cut a 1/4-inch-deep “X” in the top of each roll.

olive & parmesan rolls

•Combine water and egg white; brush over rolls. Bake at 375° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm. Makes 14-16 rolls.

olive & parmesan rolls

Note: These can be made in advance. I conducted a little experiment in the baking of these rolls. I didn’t need all of them for one serving so I “under-baked” one tray by about 3 minutes and omitted the cheese topping. I let them cool to room temperature, than sealed them in a ziploc bag. The next day, I finished off the baking time, sprinkled them with the cheese. And voila…perfect. A major time saver for holiday feasts!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.


  1. Pingback: Fiesta Friday Challenge #1: Chutney Beer Loaf & Rolls | feasting with friends

Leave a Reply to Nancy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: