Basically these are the familiar soft Vienna rolls – improved, I think, by a liberal sprinkling of poppy seeds.
Makes 16 rolls
about 2 level tablespoons poppy seeds
10 fl oz (275 ml) hand-hot milk
1 level teaspoon white sugar
2 level teaspoons dried yeast
1 lb (450 g) strong white flour, warmed slightly, plus a little extra for dusting
2 level teaspoons salt
4 oz (110 g) butter, at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
You will also need one large (or two small) baking sheets, well greased.
Start by pouring 5 fl oz (150 ml) of the milk into a bowl and whisk the sugar into it with a fork, followed by the dried yeast. Leave this on one side for 10 minutes to froth. Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre, and (when it's ready) pour in the frothed yeast and milk, and the rest of the milk. Mix to form a smooth dough, then turn out on to a working surface and knead for 10 minutes. After that put the dough back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise until doubled in bulk (which will take 1½-2 hours at room temperature or 45-60 minutes in a warm place). Then punch the dough down in the bowl to knock the air out, and then gradually work in the softened butter. The dough will now be very sticky, but ignore this and carry on until the butter is evenly worked in. Next, turn it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead into a round shape then divide this into 16 sections. Roll each piece out into a long roll, and literally tie each roll into a knot. Place each roll on the baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Now pop the baking sheet and rolls into an oiled polythene bag, and leave them to prove until puffy and risen again – about half an hour in a warm place or an hour at room temperature. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C). Sprinkle the rolls with the poppy seeds and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire cooling rack. _This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course._