Multi-Seed Buttermilk Rolls
It’s no secret that I love to bake and think of myself more as a bread baker than any other kind even though I do bake cakes, cookies and other stuff. Baking bread gives me a satisfaction that no other kind of baking does. A lot of people like the kneading part of the process as they find it therapeutic, but I‘d rather let my food processor do that part of the job for me. But I do find the way yeast works in the dough magical and watching bread rise up while baking, and the aroma of fresh bread in the oven gives me a sense of achievement which I cannot describe.
I’m not an expert at baking breads, not the kind that goes into hydration percentages and the deep down science of it all. In fact, I must confess that it wasn’t all that long ago that some of the breads I made would have functioned better as door stops!
I have however, a lot of practise and collected enough wisdom to bake a decent loaf of bread. All I need is a basic recipe (yes, I still need that), and I'm adventurous enough to work it using my intuition to trun out some decent bread these days. Most of the breads I bake are not very complicated.
I like baking simple breads, and believe that some of these have been the best I have baked. I don’t usually bake what my family likes to call “healthy” breads for the simple reason that I’m probably the only person here who will eat them. Much as I love bread, there’s no way I can eat all I bake by myself even though I usually bake small loaves or small batch rolls. In case you were wondering, any bread in my home qualifies for “healthy” if there’s whole wheat, oats or basically anything you wouldn’t find in white bread!
This recipe is on the “healthier” side as there’s whole wheat and oats in it. The grated carrots give it a nice orange flecked interior and there’s no added fat here, except from what comes from the flax seeds and the seed topping which is the good kind. Despite the use of whole wheat and oats, the buttermilk ensures that the rolls are moist and not very dense.
You can use whatever seeds you have on hand. I used what I had – watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, black and white sesame seeds.
Serve these rolls warm with soup for a filling but light supper (or even lunch) or have them for breakfast with a nice pat of butter and some jam.
- Put the sugar and yeast in a bowl with the warm water and stir. Leave for about 10 minutes to proof (it will turn frothy).
- In the meanwhile put the flours, oats, powdered flax seeds, grated carrots (if using) and the salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix well. You can also do this by hand using a large mixing bowl and a hand whisk.
- Add the yeast mixture and the buttermilk and knead until you have a pliable and smooth dough. The dough shouldn’t be too soft. Add a little extra water or flour as the case may be, if required and knead until your dough is of the necessary texture/ consistency.
- Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour, and deflate the dough. Divide the dough into 6 (or 8 or 10 if you want smaller sized rolls) equal bits and shape each one into a smooth roll/ bun. Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving 2 to 3 inches space between them. Cover them loosely with an oiled piece of cling wrap or plastic film and let them rise for half an hour.
- Once they have risen, brush the rolls with milk (or a mixture of cream and milk) and sprinkle your choice of seeds over them.
- Bake the rolls at 200C (400F) for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of your rolls) until they’re golden brown and done. Cool them on a wire rack. Serve them cool or lukewarm with a generous pat of butter.
This recipe makes 6 large rolls or 8 to 10 smaller rolls.