Sequels are rarely as good as the original. We have been watching the Rocky movies and we all agree (along with millions of others) that the first movie was the best, hands down. The others were okay (apart from Rocky IV with that lame talking robot, and I'm not referring to Dolph Lundgren), but nothing beats the first time you hear that theme song or see that awesome stair-run. Of course, there are some exceptions like Aliens/Alien and Toy Story 2 /Toy Story, but they are few and far between. This is all a 'round-about way of saying that these rolls are a sequel to the adapted Smitten Kitchen recipe for Light Brioche Burger Buns I made a while ago... and I have to say, they give the original a stair-run for their money.
NOTE: For the record, we loved Aliens, Toy Story, we just loved the sequels a teeny bit more.
Light Wholemeal Brioche Rolls with Black Sesame, Fennel and Cumin Seeds
adapted from Light Brioche Burger Buns
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
3 cups "00" flour or baker's flour
1/3 cup stoneground wholemeal bread flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
35g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
In a small bowl, combine the warm water, milk, yeast and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, until it is foamy.
In a small bowl, lightly beat one egg.
Put both flours and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and rub this into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Put the mixer on low speed and mix for 10 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky.
Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot until it has doubled in size. This will take 1 to 2 hours depending on how warm your room is.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide it into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place them, spaced apart, on the baking tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap which has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Place in a warm spot and let them double in size again - about another hour.
Put the fennel seeds and cumin seeds into a mortar and pestle and crush the seeds lightly, just to break them up a little.
Put a large shallow pan of water on the floor of the oven. Preheat to 200 degrees C with a rack in the centre. Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the tops of the buns. Sprinkle with black sesame, fennel and cumin seeds and bake for 15 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through the baking time for even cooking. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.