22 October 2010

Sweet Fennel Yeast Rolls

The hunt is on for a yeast roll that will grace the Thanksgiving table. Like most of us, I am beginning to set aside a small pile of recipes to be tested before the shopping and preparations begin for the family's Thanksgiving feast. This recipe was featured in this month's Country Living magazine. It is an egg-based sweet dough with a goodly amount of fennel seeds kneaded in, minimal rise time, and a dense crumb. The crusts are crunchy and chewy and the sesame seeds stick well to the egg glaze. The rolls baked up beautifully and the fennel flavoring is really tasty.

Of course, I tested one right from the oven. Warm with a boursin cheese spread and slices of plum tomato, the roll was top-knotch! Silent Bob, my resident bread snob, declared them 'not bad', which in Silent Bob -speak means they were very good. While I knoshed my small sandwich, I was thinking that these rolls could be made with caraway seed also (instead of fennel seed) and would be just as yummy.

If you try them, let me know what you think ... and by the way, if you have a good roll recipe, include a link or post me note, as I am still open on the 'roll that makes the cut' for Thanksgiving!

In the meantime, here's the link to the recipe and some photos -

Sweet Fennel Rolls - printer friendly

This dough has seven + cups of flour in it. I kneaded the dough for about eight minutes. It rested for about fifteen minutes while I got the other ingredients prepped.

Egg yolks beaten with a tablespoon of warm water and toasted sesame seed tops the rolls and gives them a nice sheen and some added crunchy flavor.

Dividing the dough into quarters and then dividing again into roll-sized pieces makes it easy to have pretty uniformly sized rolls.

Getting ready for a glaze and sesame seed shower ...

Warm from the oven and ready for testing! The total time from measuring to eating the test roll/sandwich was an hour and a half. I could easily do these rolls the evening before Thanksgiving, while prepping the veggies for the next day. The recipe made 20  three-inch rolls.


  1. I love the smell and taste of sweet fennel, these rolls are great!

  2. These rolls are gorgeous! They came out beautifully. I bet they're delicious, I love the flavour of fennel.

  3. Fennel is delicious and I bet yummy baked into these rolls. Looks like a crowd pleaser to me.

  4. These buns are so cute! I am starting to love fennel seeds more and more, and they are a great relief for heartburn, which is kind of useful in thanksgiving times!

  5. @ Matilda - Hey! That's right! Fennel IS a digestive herb ... didn't even think of that when I put these rolls on the list of possibles for Thanksgiving! Thanks for visiting the blog and thanks for the reminder!

  6. These look wonderful. I'm a fairly new breadmaker also. I just harvested a bunch of fennel seeds from the garden. I'll have to give these a try. You've made them look really easy to make. :)



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