I am the greatest bread lover that ever lived. Well, at least I would like to think so. I cannot eat a meal without bread. The plate is just naked without it. Fennel seeds smell incredible. I often use them when I make Khobz, a Moroccan flat bread. The downside of making bread is that it takes a long time. What I do is while the bread is rising for the first time, I plan a small trip to the store and try to make it back in time to shape it and let it rise for the second time. You are not waiting what seems to be hours for the bread to rise. This recipe was intended to be a sweet bread. But I thought that it would be good to accompany the Chorba (soup) that I made in my previous post. Yes, they were delicious. I cut way down on the sugar and they came out perfect.
2 tsp dried yeast
1 - 1 1/2 cups warm water
1 TBS sugar
6 TBS butter, melted
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 TBS sesame seeds
1 tsp fennal seed
1 egg, beaten for the glaze
1 TBS orange blossom water or almond extract, optional
Place the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add the sugar. Let if foam for about 10 minutes. Use a large bowl, add the flour, salt, orange blossom water, seeds, butter, and mix together. Add the yeast and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. You may have to use more water or flour. Transfer the dough to a medium sized oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size. Next, knead again for a few minutes. Then divide the dough into 12 small balls. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten just a little. Space them about 2 inches apart. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and then bake for about 12-15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Serve warm with butter. Enjoy!
P.S. I usually mix the yeast with all of the ingredients instead of doing the above extra step of putting it in the warm water.
Also, when I make bread, I turn the oven on a couple of minutes, then turn it off again. Then I place the dough inside to rise. I have really good luck with doing this.