Heidi Rolls

IMG_6616It’s raining, and I feel like making bread. I have to make 16 loaves for an event, but I’m not feeling like doing that right now. Because it is usually part of any catered meal, it seems that I never just make enough for us. There’s always a reason to make several batches.

With summer just around the corner (even though she’s been taunting us with her wiles for the past couple of months), I’m going to make some of these delightful little buns to put in the freezer to have ready to accompany an al fresco dinner on the porch, or beach.

They’re not huge, just big enough to enjoy with a salad and something grilled. They can be topped with different seeds, and are buttery & slightly sweet. This recipe makes 36 rolls, enough for several dinners for 4 or 6.  If you’re invited to a potluck, these are always appreciated!

I call them Heidi Rolls, after the soft, white rolls that Heidi brought to Peter’s blind grandmother when she returns from Frankfurt, in the Swiss children’s story Heidi.

Click here for printable version.

36 Rolls


1 c milk

½ c water

½ c butter (4 oz)

4 ¾ c flour

1 T instant yeast

2 T sugar

1½ t salt

2 eggs ~ room temperature (1 for in the buns, and another for the egg wash)

2 c water

seeds for topping ~ toasted sesame, poppyseeds, flax etc.


Very gently heat the milk, water & butter, until the butter has almost all melted.IMG_6580

This can be done either in the microwave or on the stove top.IMG_6581

Remove from heat, and whisk thoroughly until all the butter has melted.IMG_6585

Pour into a small bowl, and when the mixture is luke warm, whisk in 1 egg.IMG_6586

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt.

Slowly add in the milk mixture, stirring or whisking thoroughly.IMG_6589

IMG_6591Add in another cup of flour, stirring or whisking until just combined.IMG_6593

Place the bowl into the mixer. Using the paddle attachment, add in another cup of flour while mixing on medium-low.IMG_6595

IMG_6596Switch to the dough hook.IMG_6597

Knead the bread, adding in the remaining ¾ cup of flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic, and is clean of the bowl.IMG_6600

Start to make the rolls.

Pinch off 35 gr of dough (about 1¼ oz) ~ this will give you the amount you need to make a ball just under 4 cm (1½ inches).IMG_6614


Put the piece of dough on an unfloured surface, under your cupped hand. Rotate while keeping your hand over the dough, to create a ball.IMG_6602

IMG_6603Place the ball on a parchment lined baking sheet. Arrange the balls about 1” apart.IMG_6605

Continue until you have made all the dough into uniform balls.

Using the palm of your hand, lightly press each of the rolls to flatten somewhat.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about 40 minutes.IMG_6579

Preheat the oven to 400°

Whisk together the remaining egg with 2 cups of water, until frothy.IMG_6608

Brush all the rolls with the egg wash.IMG_6609

Sprinkle with your choice of seeds, or leave plain.IMG_6610

Bake for 12 minutes.

Let cool.IMG_6620



If you want to freeze some for future meals, wait until the rolls have completely cooled to room temperature, and package in bags of no more than 8. Freeze until you need them someday in the future!

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