I will admit up front to already baking this twice. The first time was supposed to be the only time. I thought the bread was tasty, but it certainly didn’t hit the spot with my husband. He picked out the fennel immediately and pronounced it something not to bake into “his” bread again. Ha! I thought it was a nice contrast of flavors. Mind you, had I snapped a few photos that time around, there might not have been a Round Two. The winning round!
I decided to bake just a half batch since bread does not get eaten quickly in our place. I left the raisins out because, well, they’re raisins and they don’t belong in my bread. Because he wanted me to leave the fennel out, I felt like I needed another spice to compliment everything. So, I added a bit of cinnamon to the mix and made these “loaves” into rolls. And LOVED them!
Please, take the time to try the original recipe as I do think it was tasty. But, if you have a non-fennel liking, raisin-hating husband like me, then this recipe just might be for you! We ate this along side a nice turkey dinner tonight but I am looking forward to spreading some cream cheese on a roll with ham tomorrow. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?!
- 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 14 tablespoons water, room temperature
- about 1 – 1 1/4 cups additional flour for kneading
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon evaporated milk (or regular milk)
- In a large bowl, stir together yeast and lukewarm water. Let this rest about 10-15 minutes. Stir in sugar and molasses. Add rye flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, flour, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Add remaining water, then stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is mostly absorbed. Cover the bowl loosely with a towel and let sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.
- Scatter flour for kneading onto a wooden board. Turn the dough out onto the board. Cover dough with additional flour. Then, wash and dry the mixing bowl. Hand knead the dough 10 to 15 minutes, adding the smallest amounts of additional flour if dough is sticky. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the clean bowl. Let the dough rise in a no-draught place at room temperature for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Gently deflate dough. Recover and allow to rise until doubled again.
- Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board; pat it into a square and cut it into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball, pinching the bottom side to seal. Place them in a square baking dish, coated with cooking spray (they will touch slightly). Dust the tops with flour. Cover with a towel and let rise until double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Whisk together the egg white and milk in a small bowl to make the egg wash. Coat the rolls with the egg wash. Put bread in oven and immediately turn the oven down to 350F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning about halfway through to ensure even baking. The rolls will come away from the sides of the dish and browned on top when cooked.
- Remove to cool on racks, separating rolls to speed up cooling. Slater with butter and enjoy!