- 40×35 cm baking tray,
- lined with non-stick baking paper
Dough (makes 40 buns):
- 500 g plain (all purpose) flour
- 7 g easy-blend/easy-bake dried yeast
- about 300 ml lukewarm milk
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 25 g soft butter
- 2 level tsp salt
- extra flour for dusting
- 1 egg yolk,
- beaten with 1 tsp milk
- poppy seeds,
- sesame seeds,
- caraway seeds
Haags ontbijt. The city of The Hague is the site of the Dutch government. Since our politicians are masters in making a lot of fuss about small things and since the income of Dutch politicians is purportedly low, we use to say: ‘In The Hague, you know, they put the cheese from one slice to the other’ (In Den Haag dat weet je, legt men de kaas van het ene op het andere sneetje). However, this can be done even better. A single slice of cheese will be sufficient to cover four of the small soft buns the citizens of The Hague are so fond of.
These buns are ideal for a festive breakfast and always a big success at picknicks and barbecues as well as at children’s parties (allow them to form the buns themselves!). You can bake them long beforehand since they freeze well. So it’s worth keeping a bag in the freezer for unexpected visitors.
- Mix flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add the milk and the butter. Knead together, then add the salt and maybe some more milk. Now knead a supple, elastic dough. This will take 6 minutes in the dough mixer. Cover with a dampened dish towel and leave to rise at room temperature for about an hour until doubled in bulk.
- Press the risen dough on a floured surface into a square. Cut into 40 roughly equal pieces. Cover them with the dampened dish towel.
- On a dampened surface roll the dough pieces into thin strings. Form into knots, snails, figures of eight, pretzels or braids (plaits), whatever you can think of. Transfer to the prepared baking tray. Cover with the dampened towel and leave to rise for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F/Gas 7.
- Paint the shapes with the beaten egg yolk, sprinkle some with poppy seeds, others with sesame seeds or caraway seeds.
- Bake to a golden brown in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes.