These are the ultimate in dinky food. Two bites of these pixie-size rolls and they're gone. Make them to stuff with herby soft cheese for a snack or, if you have to, a picnic. Have them set on fine white china plates at a dinner party next to your best flatware and glassware. Bring the whole hot, joined-up slab to the table and tear them apart with your bare hands. Spread with PB or Vegemite and put into lunch boxes for adorable doll-size snacks that'll get the lunch crowd talking. Eat them straight from the oven with butter. Have along side a bowl of warming soup for lunch. Eat with slices of ham and mustard at 3am after a big night out. Make very elegant bite-size burgers for funky cocktail party offerings. OK, somebody stop me!
Soft White Dinner Rolls
from Nigella Lawson's Feast
500g plain flour
3 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
For the Toppings:
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Combing the flour with the instant yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Put the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat until the milk is warm, and the butter is beginning to melt.
Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon to make a rough dough. Then either using your hands or the dough hook on an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky.
Put the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover the top with clingfilm, then leave in a warm place to rise for an hour by which time it should be double the size.
Punch the air out of the dough with your fist and then turn it out on to a floured surface. Pull pieces of dough the size of walnuts off the dough and form them into small round rolls, like ping pong balls, placing them as you go on to a greased or lined baking sheet. The balls of dough should be about 5mm apart so that once they have sat to prove they will be just about touching.
Cover them with a tea-towel and leave to rise again in a warm place for about half an hour, preheating the oven to 220° degrees C, while they sit. When the buns have puffed up, beat together the egg, milk and a pinch of salt and paint them with the glaze. Scatter alternate lines of buns with sesame and poppy seeds.
Bake the buns for 15 minutes by which time they should be golden brown and joined together in a little batch. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately.