Tomato and fennel rolls
Makes 13 | prep 25 mins | total time
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
- ½ tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
For the topping
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- a sprinkle of fennel seeds
Best made on the day; the rolls freeze well.
- Put the flour, yeast, fennel seeds and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix 300ml lukewarm water (you should be able to hold your finger in it without any discomfort) in a jug with the olive oil and tomato purée, then add to the bowl and mix to form a dough. This is most easily done in a food mixer with a dough hook or a bread machine but you can do it by hand, too. Knead the mix for 10 minutes until smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm, draught-free place to rise until doubled in size – this will take up to 2 hours depending on the temperature of the room.
- Knead the dough gently to 'knock it back', then shape into 13 knots and put them on a floured baking sheet. Cover again and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Brush the risen bread knots with the beaten egg and sprinkle each one with a few fennel seeds.
- Bake the bread knots in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Check they are cooked by tapping the base of the rolls. If they sound hollow, they are cooked. If not, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.