I thought I would ease into 2015 with something so darn simple I can't really call this a recipe. It's more of an idea. An idea that can take a boring dinner roll and elevate the overall flavor and appearance. After all cooking is about being creative and adding your own personal touches to a meal, isn't it? Because cooking isn't an exact science. A basic recipe can be played with and subtle changes made for a slightly different outcome - one that will suit our individual palette.
Consider therefore the humble dinner roll. You know the kind you find in your grocery stores bread aisle that are ready to pop in the oven or the canned rolls in the dairy section that need nothing and they are pretty darn good. However those to can be made into something out of the every day as I like to say.
Our grocery store sells these delightful, soft dinner rolls - 8 to a package in the bakery department. I love poppy seed dinner rolls and used to get them at holiday times from Pepperidge Farms. Since I have not had much success in finding them in recent years I took it upon myself to try to make my own for the holiday season.
However, not from scratch. I have miles to go in the baking department before I attempt that longer process. Although, I did have pretty good success with a local bakery recipe and made Squaw Bread Rolls some time ago. Admittedly I used a light molasses versus dark otherwise they would have been as good as what we used to see locally. If you visit the recipe it is indeed correct - and you'll find that the rolls are deep rich brown colored versus what you see in my photograph.
I have digressed far enough so back to this idea. Instead of from scratch, I took the store bought bakery dinner rolls and added the poppy seed topping myself. What I will suggest is to egg wash the whole surface of the roll excluding the bottom for better presentation.
Here's the easy method I used:
- package of soft store bought dinner rolls
- 1 egg
- poppy seeds
- In a small bowl, beat an egg silly till it's blended.
- Using a pastry brush - or if you don't own one, use your fingers to spread the egg wash over the top and sides of the roll.
- Take pinches of poppy seeds and sprinkle as much or as little as you like over the surface.
- Place the rolls on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350° oven.
If you are interested in the Squaw Bread Rolls and a little bit about how molasses is made follow the link.