Saffron Wholemeal Whole Wheat Bread Rolls

[Adapted from a recipe by Richard Bertinet’s - Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads]


10g fresh yeast
250g all purpose flour
250g wholemeal whole wheat flour
10g salt
350 ml water
a nice pinch of saffron strands
a handful of cumin seeds 


  1. Allow the saffron strands to soak in the water. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees C.

  2. In a large bowl rub yeast and both flours with your fingertips until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs or streusel.

  3. Add salt and pour in the saffron-water (all of it). Now get hold of the bowl with one hand and with the other begin mixing the flour and water with your fingers until the dough begins to come together  - approx. 2-3 minutes.

  4. It will be sticky – extremely sticky but resist adding any flour. The goal here is to work as much air into the dough by just stretching, kneading and pulling. Transfer the dough to a clean and unfloured work surface.

  5. Begin working the dough by taking both your hands, like two forks, under the dough and pull it upwards towards you. Then drop it back down and give it a knead. Continue kneading – the dough will be so sticky that you can hardly work with it but as you continue it will begin to come together and become more homogeneous.

  6. Once you have a smooth elastic dough you can lightly flour the surface and form the dough into a compact ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and covered let it rest for approx 1 hour.

  7. Prepare a baking sheet by spreading a clean kitchen towel and lightly flouring it.

  8. Transfer the dough ball on a lightly floured surface and using your fingers spread it into a rough rectangle. From the shorter side, fold 1/3 of the dough into the middle. Press gently with your fingertips, then fold the opposite side in a similar way.

  9. Divide the dough in about 10 pieces and form each piece into a compact ball. Dust the tops with flour and with a rolling pin gently indent the tops. Place the rolls on the floured kitchen towel making sure that they are not touching each other. Use the towel to separate each roll. Cover the baking sheet with another kitchen towel and let he rolls rise for 45 minutes.

  10. Reduce the oven to 220 degrees C. Sprinkle each roll with some cumin seeds and then bake on a hot stone or a hot baking sheet for approx. 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.