Knot rolls are an easy way to create pretty little bread rolls to serve for a nice relaxed brunch or even alongside dinner. The technique is very straight forward, you simply form your dough into strands and tie it into a loose knot, there are plenty of video demonstrations on youtube if you would like to see how it goes. Its important that the knot is fairly loose because the dough will rise and meld together during the prooving and baking.
I love combining different doughs and creating swirl breads, so I had the idea of forming knot rolls by intertwining chocolate bread dough with milk bread dough, to form these milk bread and chocolate knot rolls. Both the milk bread and the chocolate doughs are enriched yeast doughs. They are fairly easy to handle but do require a little longer prooving time due to the addition of eggs and butter. The two types of doughs can be made simultaneously, the timings work out pretty well, because the faster of the two doughs, the milk dough, includes formation of a sponge, thus delaying the milk bread dough and roughly synchronising it with the chocolate dough.
I made the recipe below for a communal breakfast meeting with my work colleagues and for this I wanted the rolls to be a little smaller. This recipe made 48 smallish rolls, simply half the amounts if you are not catering for a party or group breakfast like I was.
You can see from the pictures above that there is some time required to divide and shape each swirled knot roll, but its is worth it, because the end resulting bread rolls are really attractive as well as delicious. It is important that you go through each stage sequentially with all the dough rather than take once piece of each dough and form straight in the final knot shape. The reason is that by processing the entire bath of dough sequentially you are allowing the dough to rest and relax inbetween each stage and this makes the final formation much easier.
Recipe for milk bread and chocolate knot rolls
Total time; approx 5 hours
Hands on time; approx 1 hour, depending on how many knot rolls you are making (time for kneading, dividing and shaping the knots)
Milk bread dough
5g dried yeast
120g warm milk
135g all purpose flour (german 550)
FINAL MILK BREAD DOUGH
375g all purpose flour (german 500)
7g dried yeast
600g all purpose flour (german 550)125g sugar
380g warm water
- Combine the ingredients for the milk bread sponge, cover and leave for 1 hour at room temperature.
- In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the chocolate dough and knead either by hand for 10 min or using an electric mixer with a dough hook. Stretch and fold the dough by hand 6-8 times to fully develop all the gluten.
- Form into a tight ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for upto 2 hours (until doubled).
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the milk bread dough to the sponge, which should now look frothy and bubbly. Knead into a dough either by hand or with a electric mixer with a dough hook and as with the chocolate dough finish the kneading process by hand by stretching and folding the dough.
- Form the milk bread dough ito a tight ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for what ever time is remaining for the chocolate dough, probably just over 1 hour.
- After the first prooving time both the chocolate dough and the milk bread dough should both have risena nd doubled in size and you can go on to shaping and forming the knots.
- Refer to the pictures above of visialise the method I am describing here. If you have made the entire quantity of dough, now divide each dough into 2 pieces. Set aside one of each dough and cover to prevent it drying out. Using this multistep approach the dough has enough time inbetween each step to rest and relax, making it easier to manipulate into knots.
- When it comes to dividing the dough for rolls I like to weigh the individual pieces to get exactly the same size, of course you dont have to do this. The chocolate dough is slightly heavier so weigh out 30g pieces of the chocolate dough and 25g pieces of the milk dough. Form each 30g or 25g pieces into a ball.
- Go back the first mini dough ball that you formed and using one hand roll it out into an approx 8-cm long log shaped piece. Go through forming each ball into a log in the same order that your formed the balls, thus allowing each dough piece approx. the same resting time.
- Take the first chocolate log and the first milk bread log and join them together, as shown in the pictures above.
- Elongate the joined up logs to approx. double length. Work through the entire batch of chocolate and milk bread logs, allowing the doughs to rest again.
- Take your first formed chocolate milk bread dough log pinch and narrow each end slightly and then just loosely knot up in a single know and place on a baking sheet with one end tucked under. Again work through your dough pieces in order.
- Once all logs are knotted, allow to re-rise for 30-45 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C and then repeat the whole dividing, and shaping process for the second halves of each dough if you have them.
- Brush with beaten egg wash and bake for 25 minutes, or until just golden.