I am a notorious carb lover and I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for few months now. Unfortunately, every time I wanted to give it a chance, I was short on some ingredient, most often spring onions in the quantity needed. Or, there was something else to be made (as always), or other recipes jumped forward and these cute little swirls were about to be slowly forgotten.
Finally I decided to bake it anyway, substituting green onions with leeks and this makes the recipe a bit more wintery. Also, because we always have some fresh leeks at home during the winter season, every time we crave some tasty richly flavoured bread, we can easily have it. The layers of sesame seeds and leeks add to these bread rolls flavour and interesting, crunchy texture. While most of the chopped leeks are slowly baked inside the dough, there is a layer at the top directly exposed to the heath, resulting in a crispier bite.
The swirls are incredibly fragrant right out of the oven. Serve them warm, with a big bowl of salad or a comforting vegetable soup and enjoy.
Makes 12 – 15 rolls
Prep. time: 90 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp sugar
2 cups all purpose flour**
4 tbsp butter, chilled
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 ½ cups finely chopped leeks*
¾ cup sesame seeds
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil plus more for brushing
*The original recipe calls for scallions, so feel free to substitute the leeks with scallions.
**You may need a bit more of flour in order to obtain soft, but not sticky dough. I also prefer dusting the working surface and the dough with flour when rolling and often omit brushing the swirls with oil before baking.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon pads.
Dissolve yeast into a small bowl with ½ cup warm water, adding 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles.
Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer (with dough hook attached). Add the remaining 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar. Grate the well chilled butter over the flour and rub it with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Beat in egg and egg yolk, and add it into the dry ingredients together with the yeast mixture. Scrape down the sides while mixing.
Knead on medium speed until dough is soft and smooth, about 5 minutes (be careful not to over knead it). The dough will still seem a bit soft. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour and half.
Meanwhile, chop the leeks finely (I prefer doing it by hand but it could be done in a food processor). Transfer it into a medium bowl and stir in toasted sesame seeds, the black pepper and 3 tbsp oil and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180 C (about 350 F). On a well floured surface roll dough into a 35cm x 30 cm (about 14×12 inches) rectangle. Spoon leek mixture over it and spread it evenly to the corners of dough. Working from one short edge, roll the dough into a cylinder.
Cut cylinder into 2cm (¾ inches) thick dough swirls and transfer them to prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.