Brad wanted onion rolls. Well, actually he mentioned in passing that he would like a roast beef sandwich on a soft roll like he use to get in New York. He was very specific about the roll. It's possible he was thinking of going to the grocery store and purchasing some rolls. I doubt that he thought I would spend the day making them for him. I figure that since he tolerates my kitchen bossiness, I should make the things he likes. After much discussion about the differences between onion, kaiser, and hard rolls, I found this recipe online. They turned out absolutely amazing. In my version of the recipe, I've increased the salt and reduced the sugar, which is something I usually do to any bread recipe. I will also make less of the onion topping next time--I love the way it tastes, but at a certain point physics comes into play and there is no way to balance 2 cups of soft wet onions on top of 14 rolls....
* 3 T. dry yeast * 1 1/2 cup water (100°F.) * 1 tsp. sugar * 6 cups bread flour * 6 T. canola oil * 1/4 cup sugar * 1 T. salt * 3 large eggs * 1 cups chopped onion * 1 large egg, beaten * 3 T. black poppy seeds
Oven Temp: 400°F.; change to 375°F. when rolls go into the oven.
Grease two cookie sheets with oil.
Yield: 14 rolls
Dissolve yeast in water, add 1 tsp. sugar and let the mixture sit for 1 minute to become creamy.
Put flour, 3 T. oil, sugar, salt, and 3 eggs in the work-bowl of a food processor fitted with the plastic blade. With the motor running, add the yeast/water mixture. Continue kneading in the processor until the dough is smooth and elastic, the texture of your earlobe. Grease a large bowl with 1 T. oil; put the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size.
Meanwhile, heat 2 T. oil with 2 T. water in a small saucepan. Add the chopped onions, and cook slowly for 2 minutes until the onions are just beginning to appear translucent. Cover the pan, and remove it from the heat. By the time the rolls are ready to bake, the onions will be perfect.
Punch down the dough; divide into 14 pieces. Form smooth balls of dough and place on greased cookie sheets. With your fist, make indentations first in one direction, then turned 90°. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise 20 min. With your fist, make the indentations again; fill the indentations with the cooked onions; brush with beaten egg; sprinkle with seeds.
Place rolls in oven and put a shallow pan with cold water on the bottom rack of the oven; turn the temperature down to 375°F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, rotate them midway through the baking. Cool 15-20 minutes on a rack before serving.