My grandmother would always have these rolls on hand. She would serve them with sweet whipped butter. I thought these rolls were lost to history until I found the following recipe in "Inside the Jewish Bakery" by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg....
One bite and I was transported back to Flushing.
- 4 Cups bread flour
- 1 Cup warm water
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 eggs
- 5 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Onion Filling
- 1 Large Yellow Onion
- 2 Tbsp Plain Bread Crumbs
- 1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
- 1 Tsp salt
Make the dough; In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour ,sugar and yeast, then mix with a whisk or the flat (paddle) beater at Low (Kitchen Aid 2) speed. Add the warm water,egg and oil mixture at the same time and blend until the dry ingredients are evenly hydrated and the dough forms a shaggy mass, 1 to 2 minutes. Spinkle in the salt and mix for 1 minute longer.
If kneading by machine: switch to the dough hook and knead on low (KA2) for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand for 30 to 60 seconds.
If kneading by hand: turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and stretches when pinched and pulled, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, turning it upside down so that there's a thin coating of oil on the top surface. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the dough ferment for 45 to 60 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
While the dough is fermenting make the onion filling...
Finely chop onions and mix with bread crumbs, salt, and poppy seeds... set aside.
After dough is fermented and doubled in size, divide into 2 18 oz. pieces, roll into a thick sausage shape and stretch to 12 inches.Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes to relax the gluten. Ater the resting period, place the first piece of dough on a well-floured surface so that the wide side faces you. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough first from side to side to a width of 18 inches and then roll it lengthwise to about 10 to 12 inches. Brush the top of the dough generously with vegetable oil, leaving about 1/2 in of the edge unoiled. and spread 1/3 of the filling evenly across the upper two-thirds of the dough rectangle. Starting at the edge nearest you, fold the dough in thirds, letter-style, and seal the upper edges by pressing it gently with the heel of the hand. You now have a strip of filled dough approximately 18 inches long and 3 inches wide. Set aside and repeat this process for the second piece of dough. Spread the remaining filling on parchment paper or wax paper and press the dough strip onto the filling so that it adheres to the dough. Turning the strips right side up and cut each into 6 pieces. Put each piece on a piece of parchment paper that you have placed in large cooking sheet or stone, let rise for an additional 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake, using the top third of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until rolls are mottled brown. Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes and eat warm.