Lately, I had many requests to post a recipe for my signature bread rolls. So yes, I am glad to share it with you. Especially on the Labor Day weekend when you may try something new instead of the traditional hamburger ban. The rolls could be made into any shape and form you like. Sometimes I braid mine, sometimes I just form them into buns, depends on what I am planning to use them for. It seems like a lot of work, but that’s hardly the issue, since most of us own stand mixer and don’t do the mixing by hand anymore. Yes, it’s not done in half an hour, because you will have to wait for the yeast to activate and then for the dough rise. But after that, the baking time is minimal and the enjoyment of something you made yourself is priceless!
I love to use a lot of seeds, but the amount or kind of seeds are totally optional. My absolute favorites are: Sunflower seed, caraway seed, poppy seed, chia seed, flaxseeds (but the latter affects the flavor).
Vera’s Home Made Rolls
(makes about dozen)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (some more for dusting)
- ¼ cup organic flour
- ¼ cup melted butter or olive oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk whisked in milk (preserve the egg white for later)
- 1 table spoon dried yeast
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Slightly heat the half of the milk on the stove (can’t be too hot, it would kill the yeast. Generally, thee temperature around 120°F-130°F is the best). Sweeten milk with sugar, mix to melt and add dried yeast to it. Sprinkle with tablespoon of flour and mix together. Let sit in warm space (or on turned off stove) uninterrupted for about 30 minutes or until the yeast activates. When the yeast forms foam and it’s rising, it’s ready to use.
In the meantime, sift flour into your stand mixer bowl, season it with salt and mix. Use Spiral Dough Hook for your mixer. In the remaining milk (room temperature) beat 1 whole egg and add another egg yolk while preserving the egg white in another cup. Add milk mixture to the flour. Add melted butter or olive oil to the flour and turn on the mixer on low speed. Add the activated yeast and let mixer work for at least 2-3 minutes, until the dough starts to form. I like to add some caraway seeds and sunflower seeds into the dough, but that’s totally optional.
If the dough is still sticking to the walls of the bowl, add a tablespoon of four at the time, until the dough is firm. Turn off the mixer, scrub any residue dough off the bowl, sprinkle with more flour, cover with clean kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place to rise. Depends on the temperature, it can take up to hour for the dough to rise, almost to the top of the bowl.
When done, kneed it again by hand on floured surface (I use extra-large silicone mat), form a long role and carefully cut into 8-12 pieces – depends how big the rolls you want. Basically, for the hamburger rolls I made 8 pieces, for the smaller braided rolls I made 10-12 pieces.
At this point, preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet. I use silicone mat to prevent sticking, but you can also slightly grease the sheet, if you don’t have one.
For hamburger, round rolls: take each piece of the dough into your hands (you may need to use a little flour to keep the dough from sticking), and form a ball – just like when you make a meatballs, just bigger. I then lay it down and surface, and tackle anything that’s not round underneath with my fingers until it’s nice a round. It doesn’t have to be perfect, I like the rough edges because they then are crispy.
For the braided rolls: split each piece of the dough into three, and roll into thin rolls. Stick one end on top of the other into triangle and start braiding just like you braid the hair. Stick the ends underneath and place on the baking sheet. Don’t place them too close, they will continue rising. If you can’t make up your mind, make both 🙂
Beat the egg white we have left on the side, with tablespoon of warm water and teaspoon of salt. Brush each roll with egg whites and sprinkle with your choice of seeds, mixed with little bit of salt. Let rice for another 10-15 minutes and put in the oven.
Bake for 15- 20 minutes, or until they turn brown on top.
Take the sheet from the oven, spread them on the wire rack to cool off and protect them with your own body to prevent the family to grab them hot right off the sheet. The house smells amazing and the rolls are the best with just a little bit of organic butter on them. Enjoy!!!!!
The only bummer: They don’t last as fresh as the first day. If there are any left, your best bet is to freeze them on the day you baked them (when they are completely cooled, in a Ziplock). The rolls wouldn’t taste the same tomorrow. There is no preservative in these rolls and they really are the best on the day you bake them. I slice mine in half lengthwise – so they defrost faster , and when taking them out of the freezer, either let them defrost in the room temperature, or I stick them for few minutes into a toaster oven (on bake). They taste just like taken out of the oven again.
All there is left to do, is to enjoy them! Have a happy Labor Day and stay in touch….