I have made a lot of bread rolls for my children in the last years. Some were good, some were baahhh. I find these to be the best until now. My son definitely thinks so, for him there are no better ones. We love to make these together, all three of us, my son helps me measure the ingredients, my daughter pours the water, we knead a little bit together and when the dough has risen, we form the rolls.
Then they keep watching to see if the formed rolls are rising again and when the rolls are finally baked, they cannot even wait for them to cool down a bit, they take one and start blowing on it to make it cool down quicker. It is really a joy to see them.
The rolls are really easy to make, you don’t have to be an experienced baker to get these right. If you have a good food processor, which can also knead the dough, then you will have no trouble at all. Just forming the rolls and that is really easy. I use my Thermomix for kneading the dough, but if you do this by hand, there will still not be a lot of trouble.
After forming the rolls, you will have to brush them with an egg yolk-water-olive oil mixture. After that you can either let them like that or sprinkle them with sesame, sunflower, pumpkin or flax seeds or even poppy. They taste amazing either with a sweet spread like jam or nutella or with any savory spread or with cheese and ham.
The recipe yields 16 rolls. We manage to eat them in 2 days. However if that seems too much, you can easily halve the recipe. I use fresh yeast which is commonly available in Germany and so much better than the dried one. However if you cannot find any, you can replace it with 2 sachets of dried yeast.
Serves: 16 rolls
- 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs all-purpose flour
- 1 cube of fresh yeast (42 g/ 1.5 oz) or 2 sachets dried yeast
- 600 ml/ 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax or poppy seeds, optional
- Measure the lukewarm water, crumble and dissolve the yeast in the water.
- Place the flour into a large bowl, make a depression in the middle and pour the yeast-water mixture there. Add the salt and the honey or syrup and mix with a spoon as long as it gets. Start kneading the bread. When the dough comes together, turn the mixture onto a floured working surface and continue kneading until the dough becomes elastic and doesn't stick to your hands anymore. You will have to add a bit of flour from time to time to help you with the kneading. Do not overdo it though, just a few sprinkles of flour when the dough becomes too sticky to knead.
- Place the dough back into the clean bowl, cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth and leave the dough to rise in a warm place. I normally place the bowl into the oven and turn the oven light on. Do not turn the oven on, just the light. Leave to rise until double in volume, this will take about an hour.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide it into 16 equal pieces and form the rolls. I take one piece of dough, knead it quickly to make it smooth, then form round or elongated rolls. Place the rolls on two baking tray laid with baking paper. Let rest again in a warm place until nicely risen, about half an hour. Don't place them in the oven this time, as you will have to preheat the oven while the rolls are rising.
- So in the meantime preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I use the convention oven which allows me to bake two trays of rolls together.
- Lightly score the rolls in the middle using a sharp knife. Mix the egg yolk with the olive oil and water and brush the rolls with this mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Check if they are done by inserting a skewer in the middle of a bun. It should come out clean and dry.
- Take out the rolls, transfer them on some wire racks and let cool down.