Yes, I am going to call this ‘the 9ja Dinner roll’, because as posh and as prissy as dinner rolls are, this is the 9ja version. Why the 9ja version? Well, these dinner rolls were made with a taste of Nigeria in mind. If you read my Agege style bread post HERE, you would have seen me mention dinner rolls. By some stoke of luck, with my fairy baking godmother (i am beginning to think I have one) smiling down on me, what started as Nigerian Dinner rolls, ended up being even more authentically Nigerian, because I got that elusive elastic, stretchy Agege bread texture.
The original recipe was for romsemary pull apart dinner rollls from Food Wishes, but in classic Dooney’s Kitchen style, I was going to mess with it a little. We also have strong, powerful fragrant herbs found in Nigerian Cuisine, so using rosemary, was a no no for me. Of course, was came to mind immediately, was Efinrin. The Yoruba term for Scent Leaf, the Efik term, Ntong, the Igbo term, Nchawu. I had dried Efinrin at home, so it was a no brainer for me. Since the recipe called for fresh herb, I decided to obey a little by using freshly chopped Basil. Efinrin is in the Basil family, or is it Basil is in the Efinrin family, I don’t know which sentence is correct. Hehehehe. As I had used both Efinrin and Basil in Assorted meat peppersoup before (recipe HERE), and the result was so good, the person I made it for called and left a very beautiful voicemail, I couldn’t stop smiling for hours. I knew I was going to repeat that combo again.
The herby, aromatic scent of these dinner rolls as they are baking is sublime. When you tear into the rolls, the smell that hits you, is a delight to your senses, now finish off with a bite, and take it all in. Pair it with peppersoup and wowzer, Houston we have an announcement. We have so many options to introduce the taste of 9ja to dinner rolls. They include using uziza leaves, uziza seeds, even Ehuru or Uda would work. I will be so bold as to sprinkle in a little ground crayfish. Remember, all you need is just a hint of the flavour. So, be inspired to try anything aromatic that you enjoy the flavour of. Here’s how
You will need
6 tsp warm water
2 levelled cups all-purpose flour – you may need an extra 1/4 to make the dough firm enough. firm but stretchy. remember, I wrote MAY
1/2 cup milk
2 levelled tbs margarine
1/2 levelled tsp salt
1 egg for egg wash
1 teaspoon of Efinrin or 1/2 teaspoon of basil and 1/2 teaspoon of dry efinrin – if you are using only one aromatic ingredient, 1 teaspoon of whatever you are using is just fine
1. Mix the yeast with warm water and let it rest for 10minutes until it becomes frothy and foamy. After which you add it to your mixer, food processor (with the dough tool attached), and add the honey.
2. Add the efinrin and basil or your choice of aromatic ingredient
3. Followed by the warmed milk in which you melted margarine in. Emphasis on warm, so as not to kill the yeast. Plus 1 cup of flour. Mix, till well combined. Add 1/2 a cup of flour, mix again, and then add the final 1/2 cup of flour, and mix again, till the dough ball forms.
you may need extra sprinkling of flour (roughly 1/4 cup) with your hands to make sure the dough is smooth. Emphasis on ‘may’. If your dough has formed, don’t weigh it down with more flour. The dough should feel very soft, smooth and stretchy. Sprinkle on olive oil, about a tablespoon worth to coat the dough and the sides of the bowl
4. Leave to rise for about 5 hours, or under. Just ensure, it has risen till it doubles well enough in size. It should still feel elastic and not dry. Don’t sprinkle any additional flour at this stage.
5. Pour the dough onto your work surface and then proceed to flatten it out with your hands into a square. Ensure that it is flat. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: don’t use a rolling-pin, it will over flatten the dough. Use your hands
6. Cut rectangular strips from your flattened dough. See picture below
7. Then cut into square strips roughly about your index finger long, and little finger wide
8. Take two pieces, place on top of each other in your hand, and press down slightly till they become one piece, then stretch at the edges and keep stretching and rolling till you form a ball. See picture below. Hey, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to get a ball shape and place on a baking tray. Repeat for the other pieces, till you exaust them all. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: one thing you have to definitely have to do is place the balls close enough to each other. Remember, these are pull apart dinner rolls. So, they have to be close enough, so that when they rise and bake, they will attach to each other. Once you have all the pieces into a ball shape, give a light coating of egg wash and leave to rest for 20 – 25 minutes.
9. After 20 – 25minutes, you will see that the balls have increased in size, and also attached to each other. Give it another egg wash and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Dooneys Kitchen Tip: it is essential that you turn on your oven at least halfway into the second rise time, so it is hot enough to kick start the baking process.
Take the pan out of the oven and you have these beauties.
Don’t you just one to pick one and tear into it? Imagine making this for kids. How excited and pleased they would be.
See the golden brown round peaks? Yeeeeeeeeah, this is exactly what you want
Go get that bowl of freshly made peppersoup. Pull one dinner roll apart, and tear it open. The aroma of the herbs that will hit you, will kick your appetite straight into gear. The other gorgeous part of this recipe is the Agege style stretchy, gluey effect.
A closer shot, will convince you, that you have the real McCoy Agege bread effect going on
……………….and that’s how to take your regular peppersoup, and make it extra special. Enjoy!!