It’s not even 6AM when I start writing this post. I never went to bed, choosing to stay on the couch downstairs, scrolling through rows and columns of numbers for a school project. Every hour the computer reminds of some crucial updates that asked me to restart. Later, later. Gradually, the sun tints the room, from red to orange to my favorite shade of pink. I’ve always wanted to watch the sunset from the earliest morning hour, but I miss it again, too focused on the screen. Not in a disinterested manner, the one reserved for watching silly stuff just to make the time pass quicker. No, clicking through the materials and investopedias is unexpectedly engaging, and for the first time in months the thought of doing this for a living gives me a kick.
I finish a part and I should probably be falling asleep as I sit, but one look at the garden, its appearance so different from what I’m used to, makes me feel awake from curiosity. Uncut grass looks almost bottle-green under a heavy dew; blossoming branches hang lower than during the day; all of the colors mellow and velvety. The chirping of birds is almost too loud among the dreamy scenery. But then, it’s spring. I guess that’s what birds do in the spring.
The dampness of the garden sends me back inside, I make myself a cup of tea and spend a good minute on thinking about going to bed. Yet I end up in the kitchen, kneading the dough for rolls. I see the first person pass my house, and I try to imagine having to get up at this hour every day. But to do it once in a blue moon is somehow romantic, and helps me rearrange my thoughts; who doesn’t need that every now and then?
Sitting in my dad’s kitchen spot, I think of how I’ll miss my family once I leave, even though being home as rarely as once every two months is a difficult test of my kindness and patience, a test I fail almost without exception. But the yelling and fighting doesn’t really change anything. And I think of the people who, despite of distance or lack of common interests or disappointments on both ends, became my dear friends and remained under that label. Gratitude comes to me at times only and usually in the tranquillity of being by myself. I still have plenty to learn. At least the rolls I could make blindfolded.
Whole Wheat Rolls with Seeds
(makes 8-10 rolls)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup warm-ish water
5g / 2 tsp dry instant yeast
1 - 2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
2 - 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 - 2 tbsp flaxseed + 2 tbsp for garnish
1 tsp oil
Mix the flour with the salt and yeast, add water with oil. Remember to use warmish-to-touch water, not too hot because that will kill the yeast, not too cold, because they simply won’t kick off and the dough won’t rise. Mix with your hands, knead for about 10 minutes until elastic. If the dough is uncomfortably sticky, add flour, little by little.
Add the seeds and knead until they are evenly distributed in the dough.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a plastic bag. Put in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size. You can line the tray you’re going to use with baking paper at this point.
Now, take the dough out and flatten in out on a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a rectangle, about 2 cm in thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8-10 squares, more or less equal in size.
On a small place, spread out the remaining flaxseed in a thin, even layer. Roll the buns in the seeds and place on your lined baking tray, leaving spaces of at least 3 cm.
Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic foil for another 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220◦C. Throw in some ice cubs; the humiditiy helps create a crusty outside.
Bake the rolls for 15 minutes from the below and finish them off with 5 minutes of baking from above.
Take them out immediately, remove from the baking tray to prevent burning or loss of crunch.