Shaped Bread Rolls
In this video I demonstrate how to make 12 shaped bread rolls which will certainly get your dinner guests talking!
Makes: 12 rolls
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 500 g (16 oz) strong white flour
  • 280 g (8½ fl oz) lukewarm water or milk
  • 25 g (1 oz) melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
For the glaze
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water
To decorate
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • ...
Instructions
To make the rolls
  1. Add the yeast into the water, mix and leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the yeast/water and the butter and mix to a soft, very slightly tacky dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to allow the dough to double in size.
  5. Turn the dough out, knock it back and knead it for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Make each piece of dough into the required shape (see below) and place it on a greased baking tray.
  7. When the tray is full cover it with oiled plastic film or place it in a plastic bag and leave the rolls to prove for 20-30 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Brush the rolls with the egg yolk/water glaze and sprinkle with seeds as required.
  9. Bake the rolls at 190°C/375°F fan oven, 210°C/420°F conventional oven for 12-15 minutes until the rolls are golden in colour.
Notes
Starburst
Flatten a ball of dough slightly and make 6 radial slits in it but leave the centre uncut. Pinch each section of dough slightly.

Trefoil
Cut a dough ball into 3 roughly equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place the 3 balls in a triangle, not quite touching.

Bobble Hat
Cut a small piece of dough off the doughball and roll it into ball. Roll the remaining dough into a ball, flatten it and poke a deep hole in the centre. Place the smaller ball on top of the hole.

Braid
Press the ball of dough out into a square and cut into 3 equal strips. For each strip, press it out slightly and roll up into a cigar shape. Roll the dough out to about 15-20 cm (6-8"). Take the 3 pieces of dough and pinch at one end, then braid them together.

Scroll
Press the dough out into a rectangle about 8cm x 3cm (4" x 1½"). Fold the top third down along the long edge and the bottom third up. Press the seam together and turn over. Roll the dough out into a 20cm (8") length then form into an 'S' shape.

Knot
Press the dough out into a rectangle about 8cm x 3cm (4" x 1½"). Fold the top third down along the long edge and the bottom third up. Press the seam together and turn over. Roll the dough out into a 25cm (10") length then tie in a loose knot.

Circular Braid or Rosette
Press the dough out into a rectangle about 8cm x 3cm (4" x 1½"). Fold the top third down along the long edge and the bottom third up. Press the seam together and turn over. Roll the dough out into a 30cm (12") length. Tie in a very loose knot. Take the ends and wind them around the centre portion of the knot in the direction that they are going.

Twist
Press the dough out into a rectangle about 8cm x 3cm (4" x 1½"). Fold the top third down along the long edge and the bottom third up. Press the seam together and turn over. Roll the dough out into a 25cm (10") length. Pick the roll up in the middle then twist the strands around each other several times. Place the twist on a surface and press the two ends down to keep the dough twisted.

Spiral
Press the dough out into a rectangle about 8cm x 3cm (4" x 1½"). Fold the top third down along the long edge and the bottom third up. Press the seam together and turn over. Roll the dough out into a 25cm (10") length and coil it into a loose spiral.

Mini Baton
Press the dough out into a rectangle about 8cm x 3cm (4" x 1½"). Fold the top third down along the long edge and the bottom third up. Press the seam together and turn over. Tuck the ends under to neaten the roll up. Just prior to baking put 3 deep diagonal slashes into the roll.

Artichoke
Take a ball of dough and roll it tightly before proving. Just prior to baking use the end of a pair of scissors to make two concentric circles of snips in the dough.

Croissant
Roll the dough out in a thin triangle. Trim the edges and roll the dough up from the base of the triangle to its tip. Bend the ends round to make a crescent shape.