Flavored Rolls…from Banana Knots to Thai Crescent Rolls

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Last Updated on May 18, 2016 by Chef Mireille

This month’s theme for the Baking Partners group was making shaped rolls.  Out of the 7 shapes given, we had to do 3. My Pumpkin Rolls, which I had posted several months ago are an example of the clover shape, so I had to choose 3 of the 6 remaining shapes left. I decided on the crescent roll, braid and knot.

The Crescent and the Braided rolls were made with the same dough, while I used a sweet dough for the knot.

I made the Banana Knots several weeks ago and then life got in the way and the whole wheat rolls were just made today – the last day possible for posting this.

I am definitely much more skilled as a cook than a baker, which is part of the reason I joined the Baking Partners group – to challenge myself to learn some new skills.  Sure I can bake a cake, cookies, brownies, pies and yeast breads – however, I do not have the meticulous skills to shape and mold. The only shapes my stuff ever have is gotten from the pans they are baked in or cookie cutters.


Whole Wheat Rolls (adapted recipe from here)

2 cups water
2/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup shortening
3 cups whole wheat flour (use bread flour if possible)
1 cup all purpose flour (use bread flour if possible)

Heat water and shortening to 110 – 120 F.
In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 2 cups of the whole wheat flour, dry milk, salt and sugar.  Add the warm liquid to this and mix well.
Add the remaining whole wheat flour and mix.
By hand, knead in the all purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a soft and elastic dough; about 5 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel until doubled in size, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Punch down dough and divide dough in half.  Use half to make the Crescent Rolls below and the other half to make the Braided Rolls.

Crescent Rolls

To make it a little more interesting, I decided to flavor the crescent rolls with a filling.  I used Thai sweet chili sauce for half and I used pesto for the other half.
Work with half of the dough at a time.
Roll out the dough to a large circle, as if you were making pizza.  Cut the pizza into 8 slices.  Take a slice and spread a little of the filling on top.  Starting at the outer edge of the slice, roll.
Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Brush with olive oil.  Bake for another 5 minutes.

Braided Rolls

Most people who bake bread have done a braided form at one point or another.  To make these rolls, you are simply cutting the dough in smaller strips to make mini braids.  However, as the saying goes – There’s more than 1 way to skin a cat!

Again, work with half of the dough at a time and roll into a rectangle.  Cut into strips.
For the first half, I took three strips, pressed the edges together, braided it and then tucked the ends underneath.  This created rather large braids.

For smaller braids, take each strip and cut into 3, leaving the end intact.  Braid and tuck the ends underneath.

Let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Brush with olive oil.  Bake for another 5 minutes.

Enjoy these with my Chickpea Pomegranate Salad!

Banana Knots (inspired by this recipe)

Although I have made knots before, I used to bake them free form on a cookie sheet.  In one of my previous jobs, I used to make garlic knots on a regular basis.  This time, baking them in a muffin tin, help them keep a tighter shape and give them more height transforming simple knots into rolls.

This is a slightly sweetened dough, perfect to have with your morning coffee/tea.

4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup very ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon banana extract
1 tablespoon yeast
3 tablespoons instant dry milk
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 – 3 3/4 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, dry milk and salt.  Mix well.
In a small saucepan, heat butter, honey, water and milk to lukewarm, (115 – 120 F).  Add to dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.  Add the mashed banana, banana extract and 1/2 cup flour and mix well with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.  By hand, add an additional 3/4 – 1 1/4 cup of flour and knead for 5 minutes, until you have a dough that is soft, smooth and elastic.
Place in a greased bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours (as the weather is now getting colder, bread takes a little longer to rise – if you are in warm climate, you will need less time).
Spray a muffin tray with non stick spray.
Punch down the dough to remove the air bubbles.  Work with 1/3 of the dough at a time.
Roll dough into a rectangle.  Cut into thick strips.  Take each strip and form into a knot.  Place each knot into muffin cup.  Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the rolls.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy with Strawberry Rose Jam at tea time!

Bake Fest #13 hosted by Anu

Chef Mireille
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