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There’s a nearby museum where Molly and I often hang out. It has a beautiful walled garden; where all the toddlers love to play. They all seem to get on much better here than at the toddler groups, because I think, it allows them a bit of space to explore. As we’re late risers, we normally just get a snack (chocolate flapjack) whilst the other kids tend to have their lunches there. The other day, we were all gathered round and everybody had ‘hedgehog rolls’, which is basically bread, but shaped like a hedgehog. There was much talk about how they make the spines, and apparently Siobhann had found from the bakery’s mouth that they use scissors. Later that day, whilst preparing the dough for some baguettes to go with the onion soup (thanks to a happy shopping glut of onions), I thought I’d halve the dough to make some hedgehog rolls.

Anyway, the rolls turned out fine, but I stupidly googled the idea and found somebody that snipped the spines and then let prove for 15 minutes before baking. The spines didn’t stick out as much as I’d have liked, so on the second attempt (pictured here), I snipped just before baking. I should have gone with my gut and not the recipe. Not that I’m blaming the recipe, as Jamie pointed out when he commented on how different the onion soup was from last time, I can’t even follow my own recipes as I always think I can do better, no matter who the author.

So, these rolls are fun and the children love them. Jamie also loves them as they’re perfect for sandwiches to take to work. Only he eats them in private for fear of ridicule. Ha.

As for the bread itself, you could use any dough mix you want – I used the baguette dough recipe just because I thought it’d suit it and it takes no kneading! Although probably a stiffer dough would give better definition of spines – a few of mine definitely look more like mice than hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Rolls – Makes 8

500g strong white flour

350ml tepid water

1 ¼ tspn yeast

2 tspn salt

As per the baguette recipe, in a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and transfer to a bowl that’s been oiled with olive oil. Cover with a tea towel, then for the next hour, knock back for 8 – 10 seconds every twenty minutes (so three times in total). Leave covered to prove for 2 hours.

Then on a floured surface, divide the dough into 8 rounds. Cover and leave for fifteen minutes. Next, form rounds (as per the hot cross bun recipe). Cup and shape into Hedgehog shaped ovals. Wet fingertips and pinch out a nose on each, and lightly dust with flour. Cover and leave to prove for half an hour, and in the meantime pre-heat the oven to 220c.

Next, press with wet fingers two eye sockets, whilst reinforcing the nose-shape. Firmly press in halved sultanas (or raisins or whatever you have at hand). And then form the spines by cutting into the dough with scissors. One snip forms a triangular spike. Once spines are all complete quickly whack in the oven and bake for about twenty minutes – but keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to brown too much. My oven is hotter on the right, so I had to remove the ones on the right before the ones on the left had started to go golden.

These rolls keep well for a couple of days, but are obviously best eaten freshly baked.

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