Amaranth-Onion Dinner Rolls

Amaranth Onion dinner rolls

Nothing beats a small but delicious treat that can be baked in either a cake pan or a cast iron skillet. These rolls use the same method that gives Japanese Milk bread a soft, moist crumb; tangzhong, or "water roux".

Yield: 12, one-ounce round dinner rolls
Time to make: 30 minutes active. 90 minutes for dough to rise. 55 minutes oven dwell.
Tools needed: 1 quart saucepan. Small bowl. Stand mixer with paddle attachment or sturdy bowl, sturdy spoon and sturdy arm. 1 medium bowl. Spoon or whisk. Measuring cups and spoons and/or kitchen scale. Work surface. 10-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch cake pan. Cloth towel.  Cooling rack.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup (244 grams) "Corona" flour blend (see below)
2 1/2 teaspoon (9 grams) xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon (17 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
3/8 cup + 1/2 Tablespoon (90 grams) amaranth tangzhong (see below)
1 large egg
90 Ml whole milk
30 Ml water
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus 1 Tablespoon to sauté onions
1/3 cup onions or scallions, finely diced

Tangzhong ingredients

3/8 cup (45 grams) amaranth flour
120 Ml whole milk
120 Ml water

To make:

Measure the amaranth flour, the milk and the water into a 1-quart saucepan. Place over medium heat while stirring slowly but continuously until mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and scrape into a separate small bowl. Wash pot and whisk immediately before starches set up. Let cool to room temperature.

Corona blend ingredients

1 part (1 cup) sorghum flour
1/2 part (1/2 cup) GF rolled oats
1/2 part (1/2 cup) tapioca starch
1/4 part (1/4 cup) millet flour

To make:

Place all ingredients in a large zip-lock bag and close securely. Twist, turn, roll and shake until flours are thoroughly blended. Allow dust to settle before opening bag.

Procedure:

1)   Heat oven to 350 F. Make tangzhong (see left column). While tangzhong cools, sauté the onions in the 1 Tablespoon of butter until translucent and slightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Meanwhile, grease a cast iron skillet or line the interior of a cake pan with bakers parchment.

2)   Place the Corona flour, the xanthan gum,  the sugar and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir on low speed until ingredients are well mixed. Add the
Tangzhong, the egg, the milk and the water and stir on medium speed until a moderately stiff dough forms. Allow dough to rest 5 minutes, then scatter the softened butter over the dough and stir on medium until the butter is full incorporated and the dough becomes springy and slightly loose - about 1 minute. Add the onions and stir until incorporated.

3)   Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Knead, using a folding and flattening motion, until dough becomes smooth (there will still be lumps of onion). Roll into a log and cut into 12 separate pieces. Roll each of these between your hands, forming round balls. Place these loosely on the skillet or in the cake pan. Cover with a cloth towel and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

4)    When rolls have risen to the point of touching one another, bake for 55 minutes, or until dark brown and speckled with brownish-black onion sections. Remove skillet to a cooling rack and allow buns to cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the skillet and allowing to reach room temperature. Rolls should be eaten warm. They can be stored in a plastic bag or frozen.