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Brioche rolls with a twist – literally!

Of course, when you want to go to more than usual trouble to serve brioche rolls, you need to have an occasion. This time around we invited our children to come for brunch – with their lovely little 2-year-old as well as Sabi the ridgeless ridgeback who relocated with them all the way from the southern tip of South Africa.

So I grabbed hold of Carolie de Koster’s (Facebook: @carolie.dekoster) ‘Bak met vernuf’ (Tafelberg 1985) and dived in!

Translated recipe:
5 ml instant yeast
5 ml salt
25 ml sugar
4 eggs, beaten
140 ml lukewarm water
115 g (125 ml) butter/margarine, melted
± 560 cake flour (1 000 ml)

Method (adapted slightly)

1. Mix 10 ml of the beaten egg with 10 ml of the water and keep aside for glazing.
2. Mix together: the yeast, salt, sugar, the remaining 125 ml water, the rest of the eggs, the butter and just enough of the flour to get a soft dough.
3. Knead lightly till just smooth (about 3 minutes). Put the dough into a bowl dusted with flour, cover well and let rise in a warm place till double in size. (In England, when there isn’t a sunny spot, I stand the bowl on a partly filled hot water bottle and drape a towel over it. This can take 1 hour plus.
4. I use Lakeland’s 12 hole loose-based mini sandwich tin and butter each individual mini pan well.
5. Knead the dough lightly to initial size, divide into 12 equal parts, form the rolls and place them with one end sticking up – see pic: Rolletjies 1, Rolletjies 2.
6. I like sticking a piece of spring onion and a sage leaf into some and sprinkling some seeds (in this case black onion (nigella) seeds) onto the rest. Brush lightly with the egg-water mixture and let prove till doubled in size. (About 30 minutes) – see pic: Rolletjies 3, Rolletjies 4. Preheat the oven to 190C
7. Bake the rolls for 5 minutes at 190C, decrease the temperature to 170C and bake ±10 minutes till done and golden brown.
8. Let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes and then tip them out of the pan.
9. They are gorgeous when served warm, buttered and with any filling or topping of your choice. Ours was green fig preserves – hubby Brink’s handiwork, made with figs from our garden.

PS: Presentation: Make something special out of the most humble dish by presenting it with flair. In this instance I used a linen table napkin with the signature of the artist Pierneef, one of the best of South Africa’s old masters.

PPS: Of course I forgot to add the butter in step 2, and had to try and knead it in after the first rise – couldn’t get all of it in, sadly. In the process the dough got a bit manhandled, but I bravely moved on. The guests were already on their way! AND they were impressed with the rolls.

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