Tahini Bread Rolls

A long time ago, I had posted a recipe for tahini bread prepared in the bread machine, but I must admit I don’t really use the thing at this point. There’s just too much fun to be had taking your frustrations out on a harmless (as far as we know) piece of dough.

I also switched from bread machine yeast to active dry yeast, which I purchase in bulk, since it’s cheaper in the long run, and involves less packaging too. I actually cut down on the total amount of yeast in this recipe, and it worked just fine.

Finally, I nixed the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar the original recipe was using in order to use 1 single tablespoon of agave nectar instead.

The rolls come out way shiny without even having to bother prepping the crust in any way, which is a pretty nifty bonus due to the tahini, I’m guessing. I can definitely see them as burger buns, among many other uses. Me? I just like to bite into one without anything added to it. Oh yeah.

If you’d rather make it into a loaf of bread, just coat an 8-inch (20-cm) loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray after the dough is done with the first rise. Punch down the dough, shape it into a loaf, place it in the pan, cover it with plastic wrap and let rise for a full hour.
Aim for about 30 minutes of baking time, preferably loosely covering the loaf after 15 minutes so that it doesn’t brown up too much due to the agave and fat content.
Remove the loaf from the pan to tap the bottom of the loaf: if it sounds hollow, it should be ready.
You can also check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, and it should be between 190°F (87°C) and 200°F (93°C).

Tahini Bread Rolls:

1 cup (235 ml) water, heated to 100°F (38°C)
1 tablespoon (21 g) agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup (128 g) tahini, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (180 g) bread flour
1 1/2 cups (180 g) whole-wheat flour, more if needed
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon canola oil, to coat the bowl

Proof your yeast in the water, along with the agave. Let sit for about 10 minutes: it should foam and bubble up. If it doesn’t, start all over again since your yeast might not be fresh.
In a large bowl, combine tahini, flours and salt.
Stir in water and yeast with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and start kneading for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable, adding more flour, if needed, a little at a time if the dough is too sticky. Shape into a ball.
Lightly coat a large bowl with oil. Turn the dough around to coat, cover, and let rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
Punch down dough, divide into six equal portions. Shape into rolls. Place on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, such as Silpat.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Twenty minutes before the rolls are done rising, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Have a cookie sheet handy.
Remove plastic wrap from rolls, place the piece of parchment or Silpat on the cookie sheet, and bake for 24 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and storing.

Yield: 6 rolls