One of my earliest Easter memories is searching for Easter eggs with my sister in the garden of the house we had just moved into. There was no fence around the lawn, the green grass sprinkled with red tulips opened up to a dense forest, my childhood playground. We were young and so excited, the kind of overwhelming excitement we tend to neglect as we get older. On that sunny April day many years ago, we forgot about everything around us as we found our Easter presents hidden behind a group of old oak trees: 80’s roller skates in flashing red and white, it was better than Christmas!
I still love these special feasts, not for the presents but for these pure moments of bliss, when we take a break from our normal routine, slow down the pace and relax a little, or reflect on the memories filling our book of life. To me, memories are as precious as the moment itself and I wouldn’t have started a food blog if they weren’t inseparably connected with dishes, meals and recipes, at least most of the time. Easter Sunday is perfect for a long breakfast, preferably outside in the sunshine, which, unfortunately, isn’t really an option in Berlin at the moment. We’re still in the hands of snow, hail and rain! But snuggled into a blanket at our cosy wooden table feels just as nice, especially if there are crescent milk rolls, Milchhörnchen in German, involved. I love these yeast rolls warm, fresh out of the oven, when the soft inside smells almost buttery-sweet. The thin crust is sprinkled with crunchy poppy seeds which adds a slightly nutty nuance, to me they are best with a little butter and maybe, some homemade strawberry jam, but that’s not even necessary. Happy Easter!
Crescent Milk Rolls with Poppy Seeds
For 10 rolls you need
plain flour 500g / 1 pound
sugar 3 tablespoons
dry yeast 1 sachet (7g / 1/4 ounce)
salt 1 teaspoon
milk, lukewarm, 220ml / 7 1/2 ounces
butter, melted, 40g / 1 1/2 ounces
organic egg 1 + 1 egg yolk, beaten, for the glaze
poppy seeds, for the topping
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Whisk the milk, melted butter and egg in another bowl, the mixture should be lukewarm. Add to the dry flour-sugar mixture and mix with the dough hooks of your mixer for a few minutes until the dough is well combined and elastic. Continue kneading with your hands for about 5 minutes until you have a soft and silky dough ball. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rise in the warm oven (35°C / 95°F) for 70 minutes (top/ bottom heat and not fan-assisted!).
Take the bowl out of the oven, punch the dough down and knead for another 30 seconds. Divide the dough into 10 portions (each about 80g / 3 ounces). Roll each of them to a smooth ball in your hands before you roll it out on the kitchen top with a rolling pin. Give it the shape of a 20cm / 8″ long triangle, roll it up towards the tip and bend the roll into a crescent. Continue with the remaining dough and place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel and let them rise in a warm place for another 20 minutes.
Set the oven to 220°C / 430°F (top-bottom heat).
Brush the top of the milk rolls with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds (you can use more than you can see in the pictures). Bake in the warm oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden on top. They are best on the first day!