These full-bodied rolls have a delicate yet distinct flavor. Crush anise seeds with a mortar and pestle or gently pound with a clean hammer on a cutting board to release their licorice flavor.
Anise-Orange Rye Rolls
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 scant tablespoons or 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2 cups low-fat or skim milk
- 1/4 cup organic canola oil or other mild oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups rye flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel 1 medium-large orange
- 2 teaspoons crushed anise seed
- 4-6 cups unbleached flour
- Oil for brushing finished rolls optional
- Heat water to about 110º. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water. Heat milk to about 110º and add to yeast mixture along with oil, honey, rye flour, salt, orange peel, anise seed, and 1 cup unbleached flour. Beat vigorously. Add flour, a little at a time, until dough pulls away from bowl sides.
- Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough onto a lightly oiled work surface; divide into 36 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place balls in a well-greased, 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan or two well-greased 10-inch round cake pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.
- Preheat oven to 375º. Bake 20 minutes, or until done. Immediately remove from pans and cool on a rack. For a soft, shiny crust, brush top of rolls with oil.