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Sage and onion pull apart rolls

Deliciously soft, fluffy, savoury buns, which when broken open, reveals a sage and onion filling dispersed through the bun. Spread on some good quality salted butter and you are done. Excellent for picnics, accompanying soup or just as a snack by itself. They freeze very well and I tend to bake 3 batches in one go every few weeks as they are a perfect after school snack and a great way to utilise my very prolific sage plant!

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Ingredients for the rolls

200g whole milk

220g active sourdough 

465g organic stoneground white flour (119) (You can also mix in some organic stoneground wholemeal flour for an even healthier option)

65g butter, softened 

40g brown sugar or rapadura

1 large egg

7g sea salt, grinded

1 Tbsp melted butter (for brushing the tops of the buns)


Ingredients for the filling

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

15-20 sage leaves, finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

sea salt to taste

1-2 Tbsp butter 

1.5 cup cheddar cheese, grated (optional)



1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan or microwave, to about 40°C and set aside.

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar (or rapadura) and salt with the paddle attachment. Add the softened butter and use the paddle attachment to disperse it through the flour until it resembles fine crumbs. Rub any large pieces with your fingertips.

3. Add the milk, sourdough and egg, then mix it with a paddle attachment until a rough dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead on a medium-low speed until the dough is quite elastic, about 10 to 15 minutes. Resist the urge to add more flour as you want th dough to be very soft. 

3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Cover and allow it to rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours, or until doubled.

4. Make the filling by frying the onion and garlic in the butter, on a very low heat for 10 minutes, or until softened. Scatter the chopped sage leaves over the onion mixture and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with freshly ground black pepper and some salt.

5. When the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and place it on the counter. (Because this is an enriched dough, you should not need to use any flour, but if it sticks you can use a very small amount.) Roll into a rectangle (about 40 x 25 cm). Sprinkle the cold onion mixture over it, but leave one long edge clear for about an inch. If using, sprinkle the grated cheese over the onion mixture. Start at the long edge that has the filling up to the edge and roll the dough into a roulade, lengthwise. Divide the roulade into eight or nine sections.

6. Roll each section into a large roll by pulling the tops gently down to the bottom to create surface tension and then pinching together at the bottom. Place into a square 24 x 24cm dish but a rectangular dish of 20 x 30cm or a 20cm round dish will also work. 

7. Cover the pan and leave to rise at room temperature for 6-8 hours, or until the rolls are quite puffy and fill the pan. You can speed this process up by putting the dish into a bread proving drawer, if your oven has this facility, or by putting it into a dehydrator on a very low temperature. Equally, you can slow the process down by putting it into the fridge. 

8. Preheat your oven to 180°C.  Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a deep golden brown and they register 100°C  when an instant read thermometer is inserted into the centre of a roll.

9. Remove from the oven and brush the tops of the rolls with the melted butter. Leave to cool a somewhat before pulling apart. Whilst still warm, serve with butter. These also freeze well.


Added by: Alta Ridgway

Tags: Bread Rolls Savouries

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