These are the same rolls I had and still have every Shabat dinner since the day I was born. At my grandparents and my parents house, Moroccan Shabat's feasts were not the same without these bread rolls on the table (my mother still makes these rolls almost every friday for shabat's dinner). My family couldn't fully enjoy their famous moroccan salads, like Matbucha (long and slow cooked tomatoes salads with spicy peppers and garlics) and fire roasted eggplant salad without these nostalgic rolls. The process of making these bread rolls is pretty simple but not exactly a quick, it takes some time, raising time, about 2 hours. But they worth the time and the effort. —Shelly's Humble Kitchen
2 1/2 cups
Whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons
instant dry yeast
1 1/2 cups
lukewarm filtered water
sugar or honey
some extra flour for dusting
Sesame seeds or/and poppy seeds to sprinkle over rolls
In This Recipe
Put the flour into a big bowl, add the yeast, and stir with a big whisk or a wooden spoon until the flour and the yeast are well combined.
In a big measuring cup stir together the warm water, sugar or honey, salt and olive oil. Pour half of the liquid onto the flour bowl. Using one hand, work the water into the flour. Add the water little by little into the flour and keep working with one hand until the the flour and water turn into a slightly sticky dough. If the the feels too sticky, add a little more flour. If the dough is not moist and soft, add a little more warm water.
Kneading! Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a clean, well-floured surface. Make sure it is at a height where you are comfortable working. If the dough is very moist or sticky, sprinkle additional flour over the top.
Gather the dough into a pile and begin pressing it together. Press the heels of your palms firmly into the dough, pushing forward slightly. Fold the far edge of the dough upwards, towards you, and press it into the middle of the ball. Rotate it slightly, too. Repeat this press-fold-turn sequence for the as long as your hands can go (about 10 minutes).
shape the dough into a nice round ball, put it back in the the big bowl, and cover with a plastic wrap or a clean moist kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm place (not too warm - not on top of a radiator or in the sun, in cold drafty days, I use a folded table cloth to cover the bowl and keep the dough warm - something my mom used to do) and let it rise for 1½ hours.
When the dough has doubled in size, you need to knock the air out of it by pressing it down with your palm and knead it for a minute. Use a knife to cut the dough into 10 pieces (or to seven small rolls and two little chalas) and shape each piece into a roll or braid, or any shape you like. Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper - and leave to rise for a second time until the rolls double in size again, about 30 - 45 minutes. Second rising time will give the rolls a great soft texture.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and gently brush it on the rolls, sprinkle some sesame or poppy seeds on top and very gently put the rolls into the preheated oven. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. You can tell if the rolls are baked well by tapping on the bottom of a roll, if it sounds hollow, it's baked. If not, put it back in the oven for a little longer. Let it cool on a wire rack.