‘Fancy’ Rolls

I knocked up these whimsical little critters one Sunday morning partly because I was in the market for a bread product less brown and worthy than the usual, and partly because it was an effective way of delaying various foreboding DIY chores. Four of the five fancy shapes are illustrated below. The fifth, a curly knot construction, resembled something a dog might enthusiastically plop on the pavement, and so remained un-photographed.

fancy rolls

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 1 1/2 hours proving
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Makes: 12


  • strong white flour – 475g
  • butter – 2 tbsp
  • sugar – 1 tsp
  • salt – 1 tsp
  • fast-action dried yeast – 1 1/2 tsp
  • warm water – 275 ml
  • 1 egg yolk – to glaze
  • various seeds – for topping

Put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the consistency of bread crumbs.

Stir in the salt, sugar and yeast and add enough water to form a dough.

Knead for 5 minutes, return to the bowl, cover loosely with with oiled clingfilm, and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.


Tip out onto a floured surface and have a quick knead.

Divide into 12 pieces and mould the individual rolls into ‘fancy’ shapes … possibly as fancy as those in the photograph above (dog poo styling shown here).

Place on an oiled baking tray, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm, and leave somewhere warm for half an hour.

Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water and brush on the rolls. Sprinkle with seeds, rock salt or fresh sprigs of rosemary.

Place in a preheated oven (200C/gas mark 6) for 10 minutes.

Tap to ensure they sound hollow and place on a wire rack to cool.

Verdict: Light and slightly buttery. Delicious.

Drink: Nothing fancy.

Entertainment: Lovefilm accidently sent us ‘The Science of Sleep’. It looked like it was going to be pretentious and twee shite. We didn’t watch it.

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