Just be careful not to boil the water as this will make the liquid mixture too hat. The dough is really wet and sticky. If you have a mixer, let the machine to do the kneading. Well..., I don't. So I got on with the job by hand. You could decrease the amount of milk from 150ml to 100ml and see how it goes.
I used rosemary instead of sage. I simply didn't have sage at the time, and I think onion goes well with various herbs. You need to cook the onion patiently to bring out the natural sweetness to be almost like caramel. This bread has both sweet and savoury flavours; it's so good. You've got to try this. :)
- 150ml whole milk, plus extra for glazing + 150ml warm water
- 400g strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 15g butter (or 1 Tbsp olive oil)
- 1 Tbsp sunflower oil (or olive oil), plus extra for greasing
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- fresh rosemary (or 15-20 sage leaves) chopped, and extra for garnish
- freshly ground black pepper
- Warm up 150ml/5fl oz water and pour over cold milk (This makes quite a wet dough. So, it could change to 100ml milk + 150ml water).
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar and salt.
- Make a well in the centre and stir in the water and milk with a large wooden spoon. Gather into a ball then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the onion and garlic over a very low heat for 10 minutes, or until softened.
- Scatter the chopped rosemary (or sage) over the onions and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, season with lots of freshly ground black pepper and set aside to cool.
- When the dough has doubled in size, tip it back onto a floured surface and flatten with the palms of your hands. Spoon the onion mixture on top and knead for a couple of minutes until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it becomes sticky.
- Divide the dough into eight and shape into neat balls by pulling the dough from the outside of the ball and pushing into the centre. Turn over with the ends underneath. Place the rolls in a circle on a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, making sure the dough balls are touching. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6.
- Brush the top of each roll lightly with milk and place some rosemary leaves (or a small sage leaf) on top. Brush with more milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, and decrease the temperature to 160c and bake for a further 20-15 minutes or until risen and golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool a little before serving.