Herb and Onion Tear and Share Rolls

Herb and Onion Tear and Share Rolls

Bread, in its many forms is certainly one of the finest foods. At its best, served warm, smothered in something tasty like homemade hummus or dipped in a hot, thick soup.

So I was inspired when I saw an old episode of the BBC’s Hairy Bikers, making sage and onion tear and share bread. It looked and sounded really appetizing, served with a parsnip and apple soup. So I thought I’d have a go at making a vegan version (theirs contained milk). We also had a good crop of parsley which needed cutting into, so I added some of that too.

It took a bit more preparation than some of my other breads like flatbread or focaccia, but was very much worth it. I had some friends over for lunch, so I served it to them with roasted butternut squash soup. Their reaction was, ‘you made that???’, which is what you want.

Herb and Onion Tear and Share Rolls
Serves 8
Preparation/cooking time 2 and a half hours approx.

150ml/5fl oz soya milk, plus extra for glazing
400g/14oz strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
15g/½oz vegan margarine
1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
15-20 sage leaves, chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 150ml/5fl oz water and the soya milk in a saucepan over a low heat until lukewarm.
2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar and salt.
3. 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. I used the dough hook in my food processor (Magimix) and pulsed the dough for a minute instead.
4. 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.
5. Meanwhile, melt the vegan marg 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.
6. Scatter the chopped sage and parsley 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6.
7. Brush the top of each roll lightly with milk. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool a little before serving.

Make it quick tip: I chopped and cooked my herbs and onion the night before and put them in the fridge in a covered bowl, saving time during the next morning. I also did the kneading in a food processor, also reducing the preparation time. If serving soup with the rolls for lunch, why not prepare the veg for it the night before too? I roasted my butternut squash, carrots and onions and left them to stew in stock overnight, ready for blending and warming through the next day.

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