The yeasty love affair!

I’ve been away from the Baking Eggless Group for a couple of months now but when Gayathri announced the challenge for this month, I knew it was time to get into action again. For March, Priya of Enveetu Kitchen came up with the challenge of Amazing Dinner Rolls for all of us to try an eggless version of.

Dinner rolls. I scratched my head. Chewed on my pen and then frowned some more. You see, I have a love-hate relationship with yeast and it is only recently that we seem to have struck some sort of a harmony. Sigh! I’m scared to say it for the fear of jinxing it! So I was wondering how to make this recipe eggless. I’d heard of using mashed potatoes and then there was another recipe that I saw online which had a long list of ingredients and processes, it was enough to put me off. So I decided to stick to what I know best – good ol’ flax seeds. They work as a brilliant substitute for eggs in baked goodies and with bread, in particular, it gives a lovely texture.

I didn’t want to make plain dinner rolls so I added some garlic and mixed herbs to the dough and this gave it a wonderful flavour. We had these with butter and some with a coriander-flavoured cheesespread;  I liked it with butter but the husband preferred the latter.

The house was smelling so good when these babies were in the oven

Garlic & herb dinner rolls

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp of active dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water
1/2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of flax seeds + 1 tbsp of water ground into a coarse paste
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp of milk
1 1/2 tsp of mixed herbs
Some oil for greasing
Salt to taste

Proof the yeast
Dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water and then sprinkle the yeast granules over this. Let it stay for about 3-5 seconds and then stir it in.
Cover the bowl and keep it aside for about 10-12 minutes. When you check the yeast after this it should be all frothy, only then is it ready to use. If this doesn’t happen wait a little longer, a maximum of 15-17 minutes. In case it still doesn’t work then it means the yeast is no good and you will have to start all over again with another batch of yeast.

The dough
Put the all-purpose flour, flax seed mixture and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Now add the yeast mixture to this and mix it well. If it is dry add the milk accordingly. Mix well until the dough takes shape. Knead it well for about 5 minutes, place it in a greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest for about 2 hours, by this time the dough should have risen to double its size. If it hasn’t then wait some more time.
You will know the dough is done when you poke it and it doesn’t spring back.

Punch down the dough and add the garlic and mixed herbs to this. Knead again for sometime and cover it, let it rest for about 20 minutes now.

After this, divide the dough into equal parts and keep them aside. Now take each portion of the dough and roll it out to form a log and then knot it. If you wish you can also form these into rolls or any other shape that you like.

Place these rolls on a greased baking tray, brush them with milk and sprinkle some sesame seeds over it. Cover this again and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. During this time the dough will rise again.

Bake the rolls in a pre-heated oven for about 160 degrees celsius for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven when they’ve all turned golden brown. Allow them to cool down on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or as an accompaniment with soup, salads or a baked dish.

* You can use whole wheat flour for this recipe too, but increase the quantity of yeast accordingly.
* If you’re okay with it then use an eggwash to brush over the rolls in place of milk. To make the rolls completely vegan, use soy milk in the recipe.
* Instead of sesame seeds you can use pumpkin or watermelon seeds too. If you want a twist with the flavours then add some ajwain instead.

I’m sending this recipe to Yeastspotting and also to the Bake Fest #18 at Nivedhanam which is the brainchild of Vardhini


Leave a Comment