Cuisine Fiend

seeded brown dinner rolls

Fri, 3 February, 2017


seeded brown rolls

Bread roll: A roll is a small, often round loaf of bread served as a meal accompaniment. A roll can be served and eaten whole or cut transversely and dressed with filling between the two halves. Wikipedia

dinner roll | Definition, meaning & more | Collins Dictionary Definitions. noun. a small round piece of bread provided as a side dish as part of a meal.

Posh restaurants and business class give you bread for free. They’ve taken your orders, the white tablecloth digs uncomfortably into the very low space between your knees and the edge of the table; the napkin very much wants to go lie down on the floor after a struggle with the cloth and your skirt; the pre-dinner aperitif is finished and they’re dragging their feet with the wine order; you’re having second thoughts about the duck for main seeing as it comes with dauphinoise potatoes (calories!! carbs!!!); and you’re on the point of fainting with hunger having eaten not much all day in anticipation of the lavish dinner - when it comes. A saving grace. A rescue from starvation. A diversion from waiting for wine.

A dinner roll.

seeded dinner rolls

They are dainty little things, often with seeds, often tomatoey, sometimes speckled with onions and sometimes plain and weirdly flavoured with cumin. Of course you’d like both when asked which of the two available kinds, but never go for it. Of course you’d like another when they come round again but never dare. There’s never enough butter anyway.

I do like them fluffy and airy, and so they should be - you shouldn’t be stuffed already before even the starter turns up. I usually think the bridge roll type or the Japanese milk roll kind are the perfect dinner rolls. Those two, funnily enough, are also the best burger buns, but you’d never see a brioche served pre-dinner - which proves a burger in a brioche is WRONG, QED. I digress.

tapered seeded rolls

The seeded brown rolls are naughty but nice - still dainty and airy, light and fluffy, but with the added virtue of brown flour and seeds, or salt sprinkled on top as in my second batch. This recipe makes an awful lot of them, 18 at least and God knows how many if you shape them smaller. Spotted in NY Times Cooking.

seeded brown dinner rolls

Servings: 18 rollsTime: 3 hours plus proving overnight


  • For the sponge:
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 12g fresh or 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 375ml cold water
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • For the main dough:
  • 40g linseed
  • 50g millet grains
  • 30g sunflower seeds
  • 40g pumpkin seeds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 140g spelt flour
  • 350g wholemeal flour plus extra for dusting the work surface
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • For the topping:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella (black onion) seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)


1. Place all the ingredients for the sponge in a large bowl and stir to a loose batter. Cover with cling film and leave for half an hour to foam up a little. In the meantime soak the seeds with boiling water, leave them for half an hour, then drain and rinse well with cold water.

2. Shake the excess of liquid off on a sieve and add the seeds to the sponge. Add the rest of the ingredients for the main dough and mix to a rough dough with a spoon or in a standing mixer.

3. Flour a work surface well and knead until the dough becomes smoother and not quite so sticky - you might need to dust it with more flour. In a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment it will take 5 to 10 minutes for the dough to clear the sides - sprinkle some flour over the dough once or twice during the process.
Place the dough in a large bowl covered with cling film or in a large plastic box and refrigerate overnight.

yeast dough

4. The next morning turn the dough out onto floured surface and divide into 18 chunks (about 90g in weight each). Shape each chunk into a tight ball, place them on a couple of baking sheets lined with parchment, cover with cling film or slide into plastic bags and leave to prove for about 2 hours, until almost doubled in size.

brown rolls proving

5. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. When risen, brush the top of each bun with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a mix of seeds and some salt, if using.

the best bread rolls

6. Bake for 20 minutes until golden, cool on a wire rack. They will be as good as fresh on the following day but you might want to freeze the surplus.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

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