I have been seeing a lot of cinnamon rolls on various blogs in the past year or so and have always wondered how it would be if I made some similar rolls with a savoury filling instead. This thought finally became reality when I decided to try making them in time to post for World Bread Day 2008.
The recipe for the dough is adapted from the Yeasted Breakfast Bread Dough in my Tassajara Bread Book. I used this dough because it is less rich compared to the dough usually used for cinnamon rolls. I made some adjustments to the dough recipe and made it egg-free as well.
I guess the tweaking of the recipe is fine as the author of the book, Edward Espe Brown, himself says,
Recipes do not belong to anyone -- given to me, I give them to you. Recipes are only a guide, a skeletal framework, to be fleshed out according to your nature and desire. Your life, your love, will bring these recipes into full creation (p. vi).
For the filling, I used spring onion and crumbled home-made paneer (from 3% fat milk).
These savoury rolls are soft and light and great to serve as a snack, appetizer (if you make them slightly smaller), or with soup for a light dinner. Here’s the way I made them.
For the dough:
1 cup lukewarm water
1 ¾ tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup dry milk
1 tsp ground flax seeds in 1 tbsp water (or an egg)
Some chopped/ grated cheddar cheese for topping the rolls.
In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and honey. Add the honey, milk powder and flax seed+water (or egg). Mix well. Add the whole wheat flour and mix into a batter and beat well (Brown says 100 strokes!). Cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes for it to rise.
Add the oil, crushed cumin, black pepper and salt to the risen batter and fold in. Also add the 1 cup of flour and knead till the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes using just enough flour to get a smooth dough which doesn’t tear easily. The dough will be a bit sticky so flour your hands, while kneading, to prevent the dough from sticking. Cover and keep aside, allowing to rise for about 40 minutes.
During this time, heat the 1 tsp oil and lightly sauté the spring onion, after adding the salt. Make sure the onion does not wilt and is still crisp. Allow to cool.
After the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface into a rectangle that is about ¼” thick. Do not roll it thinner. Place the dough rectangle such that the longer sides face you. Spread the crumbled paneer over the rectangle, leaving a little space free on the edges of the longer sides. Spread the sautéed spring onion over this. Sprinkle the chilli flakes and the dried herbs on top.
Using your finger dipped in water wet the longer edge of the dough away from you. Slowly roll the dough rectangle tightly, keeping the filling in (jelly roll style), from the edge of the rectangle closest to you. The wet edge will help seal the roll.
With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. I found it easier to divide the dough into two halves and make two smaller rolls, cutting each into 6 pieces. Place the rolls, cut side up, in a greased cake tin. Leave enough space between the rolls to expand sideways. Keep to rise for about 20 minutes.
Brush lightly with milk and bake at 190C for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes of baking, take the rolls out and top the rolls with chopped or grated cheddar cheese. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes till the rolls are brown and the cheese has melted.