Tahini Brown Sugar Sesame Rolls

February 26, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 24 rolls
Author Notes

Gorgeous AND delicious: a perfect combination in a baked good. I adapted these rolls from this lovely bread recipe on the Land O'Lakes website, tweaking it to make ndividual twisted rolls and adding a sweet tahini filling with sesame seeds for texture. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • For the bread
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 ounce (2 packages or 4 1/2 teaspoons) instant or active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (add more, up to 1/2 cup, if you prefer a sweeter filling)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cardamom, butter, evaporated milk, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Set aside and let cool until it is warm but not hot.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour, the sour cream, eggs, and the warm butter mixture to the bowl of yeast. Stir until well-combined.
  4. Stir in the remaining flour (a little at a time) until the dough is stiff enough to handle. It'll still be quite sticky, so be careful not to add too much flour right away: Add a bit at a time and see how it changes the consistency. You'll add a bit more flour later when you roll it out, so it's better to err on the side of too sticky here.
  5. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Transfer the bowl of dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. To make the filling, stir together the tahini, brown sugar, and sesame seeds in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. When the dough has risen (it should have about doubled in size), divide it in half.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  9. Take the first half of dough and roll it out into a rectangle approximately 9 by 20 inches.
  10. Spread half of the filling in a very thin layer over the dough, leaving about 1 inch around the edges. You don't want to spread it too thickly or it will get messy when you shape the rolls.
  11. Fold the dough in half (so it'll be nearly square, about 10 by 9 inches) and roll it lightly with a rolling pin to flatten it slightly. You don't really need to flatten it too much, but the thinner the dough is, the prettier and more intricate the rolls look.
  12. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch strips lengthwise. Take each strip of dough: wrap the strip around your first and second fingers twice, then tuck the ends inside the circle of dough you've just made. Don't worry too much about the shape! There isn't a perfect way to do this, just form them into a knot as best you can: It's a messy process because the filling seeps out a bit, but they will be delicious regardless of how messy they appear.
  13. Place each knot on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  15. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes.
  16. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Depending on the size of your knots they could take more or less time, so start checking around 15 minutes.
  17. Remove from the oven, let cool, then eat!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Elizabeth
  • Yael Even
    Yael Even
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
  • Bascula

4 Reviews

Elizabeth October 5, 2016
These are wonderful and the dough is very cooperative once it has risen. Depending on the density of your tahini you might need to loosen the filling slightly with a couple tablespoons of warm water in order to spread it- mine was very thick and clumped. But they were delicious and looked beautiful.
Yael E. March 23, 2016
These are DELICIOUS!! Everyone in my circles loved them!!
Bascula March 10, 2016
Do you think I could let the first rise happen overnight in the refrigerator? How could I adjust this recipe so that I could make it in the morning without getting up at the crack of dawn?
Posie (. March 10, 2016
Certainly, letting the first rise happen overnight in the refrigerator should work fine!