Six-Seed Garlic Onion Poolish Rolls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 large rolls
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup All-Purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • all of the poolish
  • 3½ cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons, each; sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds (the green ones that are shelled aka pepitas), flax seed, poppy seeds, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, dehydrated garlic and dehydrated onion..about ¼ to ½ cup reserved for topping (optional..and you can use any combination of seeds, aromatics like) Save any leftover seed combo for other bread baking or uses..or just eat it) Use only 1 tablespoon of each if only adding the seed combo to half the batch of dough, like I did.
  • fleur de sel or coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup hot water when ready to bake
  1. First make the poolish. Sprinkle yeast over water - let dissolve then stir in flour until incorporated. Cover and let it do it's thing at room temperature overnight. The surface should be covered with little bubbles after several hours.
  2. Using your hands, a hand mixer, stand mixer or bread machine dough cycle (ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer) combine the poolish with the all of the dough ingredients until no longer sticky. If you're using the seeds, garlic and onion, knead in ½ to ¾ cup of garlic onion seed mixtire once you have a cohesive dough. They will keep popping out, but just keep kneading and shoving them back in (a stand mixer or bread machine knead makes this part easy).
  3. Continue to knead the dough until somewhat smooth and elastic (it won't feel smooth with all the seeds, IF you used the seeds). Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. After the room temperature rise..fold the dough down to deflate it, then cover the bowl again and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and on a floured board, divide the cold dough into 6 equal pieces. You can weigh each piece or just eyeball it. It doesn't matter if they're EXACTLY the same size, but you want it close. Take one piece of dough at a time..covering the remaining pieces with plastic wrap, and shape into balls or torpedos or teardrops (A torpedo with only one end tapered). I've linked both shapes to videos on how to do it to get maximum rise, oven-spring and spread/bloom from the slash.
  6. Place each shaped roll on a parchment lined baking sheet (I used a 12 x 17 cookie sheet to fit them all without the chance of them touching while rising), then cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. You will need two or three pieces to cover them all sufficiently so no air seeps in, but you want to give them room to rise, so cover loosely but tuck ends of plastic wrap under baking sheet. Let rise two to three hours, They should double in size, as you see in my photos.
  7. About 30 minutes before the final rise is finished, place an old roasting pan or cast-iron skillet on the floor of the oven. Pull out all the racks except the middle rack, where you will be placing the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  8. Uncover the rolls. If you're using the seed, garlic, onion mixture, lightly spray or brush a little water on each roll, and top with reserved seed mixture, then sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel or coarse sea salt. The water will help it all stick. You can also use beaten egg white if you want more 'stickage' power.
  9. Give the rolls a light dusting of flour so whatever blade you're using to slash the rolls doesn't stick to the dough when slashing.
  10. Using a super sharp chef's or serrated knife, razor blade or lame..slash each roll about ¼-inch deep down the center (vertically for torpedo rolls). It should start to open within seconds and you'll see the lovely, bubbly structure of your dough in the slit, which is a good sign. If your blade isn't super 'cut paper' sharp, you will tear and deflate your beautiful rise, plus, you won't get maximum oven-spring or that beautiful spread down the center which gives you a light, fluffy interior. Here's a video on how to slash risen bread dough.
  11. Have ready 1 cup of hot water. Open the oven door and quickly slide the baking sheet with the rolls onto the middle rack, horizontally so they bake evenly..then quickly pour the hot water into the pan or skillet on the oven floor. You should hear a sizzle sound. Shut the oven door immediately. The steam from the water is what gives you an amazing crust.
  12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the rolls are golden brown. You may not be able to tell with the ones coated with seeds, but the center of the roll where you slashed it will be wide open and lightly colored (the seeds make it look opposed to plain rolls). Remove rolls from the oven and immediately place them on a baking rack to cool. Enjoy hot or cooled down!
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at