Honey Sesame Rolls


I found this recipe on Playing House, originally from Desert Candy.  I was intrigued because the only use for tahini I had ever known was hummus.  I bought exactly 1 cup of it in bulk from our co-op so that I could make this recipe.  Even though when I read the recipe, it said it wasn't sweet, when I mixed together the honey and tahini, it wasn't what I was expecting, so I added a bit of flavorings to the mix to make it a bit sweeter.  I planned on making it for a breakfast treat, after all.  The recipe below reflects my changes/additions.  Also, I only ended up having enough tahini mixture for 8 rolls, so for the remaining 4, I spread the top of the rolled dough with butter and sprinkled cinnamon sugar before rolling up.

For the Dough:
3 1/2 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons Yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 Egg

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  In a small bowl, beat the egg and add the oil.  Heat the milk to 120 degrees.  Pour the warm milk into the flour mixture, then add the oil and egg mixture.  Mix together with your hands until a smooth and elastic dough has been formed, about 1-2 minutes.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and it aside for 30 minutes to rest.  It will not rise like regular bread dough.  After the dough has rested, divide it into 12 pieces and lightly brush each with a little bit of oil to avoid drying out.  Let the 12 balls rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

For the Filling:
1 cup Tahini
1/2 cup Honey
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined.  Set aside.  *I made this right after putting the dough aside to rest for the first time.  By the time I needed the mixture, it was stiff.  I found that by putting it in the microwave for about 30 seconds made it easier to spread over the dough.  

For  the Glaze:
1 Egg
2 teaspoons Water
Sesame Seeds
Cinnamon Sugar

Whisk the egg with water in a small bowl to make an egg wash.  Set aside.

To Assemble the Rolls:
Roll one ball of dough out into a long oval or rectangular shape.  Roll it as far as it will stretch without breaking.  Spread the top of the dough with a thin layer of the tahini mixture, leaving a border around the perimeter of the dough about 1/2 inch.  The layer of tahini should be just thick enough to be opaque but not too much or it will ooze out.  Starting at the longest edge, roll the dough into a rope.  Gently twist the rope so that it is spiraled.  Roll the spiraled rope up to form a coiled bun.  Gently flatten the bun with the rolling pin or a firm press of the hand.  Place the bun on a greased or lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough balls.  Brush the rolls with the beaten egg wash, then sprinkle with a few sesame seeds and some cinnamon sugar on top.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

So, I decided to do something a little different in this post.  I normally don't do a recipe by photos, but there were many different steps to making these honey sesame rolls, so I took pictures each step of the way.  Scroll down to see the way these come together!

Start off with a dough ball:

Roll it out:

Spread the tahini mixture over the top:

Start at the end and roll, lengthwise:

Twist your dough:

Roll into a bun: