Anise seeds, sesame seeds and orange flower water give these sweet rolls their fragrant, characteristic flavor. If you don't care much for anise, either reduce the quantity of anise seeds or omit them entirely. Either way, the rolls will still be delicious!
Serve krachel plain or with butter, jam, cream cheese, or even peanut butter and jelly.
See the Tips at the end of the recipe for a less rich sweet dough variation.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising time, divided: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: 12 to 15 rolls
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water
- Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon unhulled, golden sesame seeds (for sprinkling on the rolls)
Dissolve the yeast in a little of the warm milk and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt and anise seeds. Add the eggs, the butter, the oil, the orange flower water, the yeast and the rest of the milk. Mix to form a very soft, sticky dough.
If you find the dough is too sticky to handle, add the smallest amount of flour necessary to be able to knead the dough.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface (or in a stand mixer with a dough hook) for about 10 minutes, or until very smooth. (It's desirable to have the dough somewhat sticky; you'll find that it becomes much easier to handle after its first rising.)
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn the dough over once to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave the dough to rise until doubled – usually this takes about one to one-and-a-half hours, but leave the dough to rise longer if necessary.
After the dough has risen, divide it into 12 to 15 smooth, evenly shaped balls. Place the balls of dough two inches apart on an oiled baking sheet, and slightly flatten the tops of the dough.
Cover the baking sheet with a towel and leave the dough to rise another hour or longer, or until the rolls are very light and puffy.
Preheat an oven to 450° F (230° C). Brush the tops and sides of the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle the rolls with sesame seeds.
Bake the krachel for about 20 minutes, or until rich golden brown. Transfer the rolls to a rack to cool.
Tips and Storage
Be sure that the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. Hot liquids will kill yeast, while cool liquids will not activate it.
Be patient with the initial rising time; the dough is quite rich and may take awhile to rise properly.
Rotating the tray from front to back halfway through baking will help ensure even browning.
If the rolls aren't well-browned after 20 minutes of baking, place them under a broiler for a minute. Watch the rolls carefully or they'll burn!
Krachel store well in plastic storage bags in the freezer. They can be warmed in the microwave directly from the freezer without drying out. The trick is to avoid making the rolls too hot.
If reheating krachel in an oven, enclose the rolls in foil to keep them from becoming hard and dry.
To make a lighter, less-rich sweet dough for the krachel, eliminate the vegetable oil and reduce the butter to 5 tablespoons. Adjust the amount of liquid if necessary to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.