Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kitchen Adventures; Poppyseed Rolls with Fennel

I told you I went to the wine festival last weekend, and that at dinner we had the most delicious poppy seed rolls.

I decided to make myself some... because I love poppy seed, and fennel can be such a beautiful flavor when it's ever so subtly added.

So this weekend, I went for it. :) Hubs was out of town for his brother's graduation, so I got out the yeast, stand mixer, and a whole mess of flour, and I set to work.

The dough making is not so different from other dough making. You just want to add the fennel and poppyseeds before the flour starts repelling everything, ya know? I threw them in before the last half cup of flour.

Also, in line with my crazy experimentation, I forgot to buy milk. You can absolutely substitute water if you don't have milk. I actually subbed in almond milk. It worked great. Cue pleasant surprise.

It was maybe not such an excellent idea to make a whole plate of rolls when there was no one home to eat them with me. It took every ounce of self control I had to keep from eating the whole tray.

I did have a few though. Butter optional.

I may add a touch more fennel next time. It was beautifully subtle, just like I wanted, but I think it could have used a bit more.

Want to make your own? Get on it.

Poppyseed Rolls with Fennel
Inspired by the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
Makes 16 rolls

1/2 c. warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
3 tbsp. sugar or honey
3 1/2 c. flour (AP or Bread), plus more for dusting
1 tbsp. lightly crushed or whole fennel seeds
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 c. milk (Almond ok!)
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg (for egg wash, optional)

In your mixing bowl, gently combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes, or until yeast blooms.
Using a stand mixer, if you've got one, add two cups of flour (one cup at a time) until combined. Then add milk and butter. Add another cup of flour, and when fully combined, add fennel and poppy seeds, and follow it up with your final 1/2 cup of flour. Keep mixer on low to medium speed throughout.
Once dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, cover and let rise for at least an hour.

You can do an optional second rise if you want. Remove the dough from the bowl, turn it out, lightly kneed. Wash out your bowl, oil it, and put the dough back in while you do the following...

Preheat your oven to 400. Lightly grease a baking sheet (or two), depending on how dangerously you like to live. Once oven gets to 400, pull start to pull off ping pong size balls and place them evenly on your baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir up one egg. Then lightly brush egg wash over your rolls - this creates that pretty gold sheen on the rolls.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool just a smidge, and have at it.


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