Rye and spelt bread rolls with lemon, honey and poppy seeds

This recipe calls for vital wheat gluten, which isn’t strictly necessary, but adds lift and softness to the rolls - so you don’t get the heaviness associated with rye flour, but still have all the rich flavour.



  1. Place the flours and vital wheat gluten in a very large mixing bowl. Add the salt to one side of the mixing bowl and yeast to the other side. Make a well in the centre and add the honey, lemon zest, poppy seeds and olive oil.

  2. Using your hands, start to bring the mixture together. Add 375-400ml/13-14fl oz water, and mix until you have a rough dough.

  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead it for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, shiny and passes the window pane test (pull away a little dough and stretch it until it’s thin enough to see through it – if the dough doesn’t tear, it’s ready).

  4. Place the dough into an oiled mixing bowl and set aside to prove for at least an hour.

  5. Once dough has risen, remove it from the mixing bowl and knead for another 20 seconds, to knock the air out of it.

  6. Divide the dough into 12 equally-sized portions. Roll each portion into a tight ball, rub with a little cornmeal and place on a baking tray.

  7. Once all balls have been rolled, leave to prove for about 1½ hours.

  8. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

  9. Once dough has proved, place a large roasting tin into the bottom of the oven and half fill it with hot water to create steam.

  10. Using a sharp knife, score the top of each roll with a small cross (about 2cm/¾in in diameter). Place the rolls into the centre of the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, moving the rolls around, if necessary, to ensure an even bake.

  11. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Serve with butter.