Tala Hedgehog Rolls
Despite their prickly appearance, these lunch rolls are wonderfully soft and make a lovely baked treat for the school holidays. The dough seems very sticky at first but keep going, using the dough scraper to scrape the dough from the work surface, and you will find that the dough becomes more manageable after a few minutes.
Makes 16 rolls
175ml semi-skimmed milk
25g butter (plus 15g, melted for brushing over the rolls later)
½ tsb caster sugar
1 sachet dried yeast
1 large free-range egg
300g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
small quantity of egg white
- Place the milk and butter in small saucepan and heat until the butter melts, then turn off the heat and allow to cool until just warm.
- Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk briefly to combine them.
- Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg. Add the milk and butter mixture and mix roughly with a wooden spoon to make a shaggy dough.
- Turn out the dough onto the work surface and knead for five minutes. The dough may seem overly sticky at first, but keep going, using the dough scraper at intervals to scrape dough off the surface and your hands. After a few minutes, you will find the dough becomes more manageable, smooth and pliable. (Add a little more flour if you find the stickiness persists after five minutes or so.)
- Roll the dough into a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover loosely with a tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl, knead very briefly, and cut into 16 little pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball, pinch one side into a point (this will be the nose of the hedgehog) and space out the balls on a large baking tray. Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise for another hour.
- Set the oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan (338 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Use kitchen scissors to snip little spikes all over the hedgehogs' backs. Pinch the noses back into points (if these sprung back a little during the rising process) and dunk the currants into egg white and position them on the hedgehogs' face to look like eyes.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the hedgehogs bodies are golden brown – keep a close eye on the prickles as these might burn if left too long.
- Remove from the oven, leave to cool for five minutes before brushing with melted butter. Then allow to cool completely before serving.