Dinner Roll + Baked Camembert Wreath (Pull-apart dough balls)
This Christmas appetizer is a tear-and-share bread made up of easy dinner rolls/dough balls with baked camembert, shaped into a festive edible wreath! This festive centerpiece is not only versatile, but it'll be the talk of the party!
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, sugar, and yeast, stirring to dissolve the yeast and sugar. Then add the eggs and whisk well.
Transfer the flour onto a clean working surface and create a well in the center. Pour the liquid yeast mixture into the well and begin to combine the two, a little bit at a time, until you have a dough.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, stretching and folding it until you obtain a smooth and elastic dough.You can also do this in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Just throw all of the ingredients in and then mix for 7-10 minutes.
Step 2: Rest the dough
Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and place it back in the large bowl, sprinkled with a little flour. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes in a warm area, covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Step 3: Add butter then rest again
Place the dough onto your clean work surface again and incorporate the butter a little at a time. Use either small butter slices/cubes or a spoonful at a time and knead into the dough. Your hands will begin to melt it, helping it incorporate.
Continue until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough and then shape it into a ball again and rest it in the bowl for a further 10 minutes.
Step 4: Divide the dough balls
Divide the dough into even-sized pieces. For dinner rolls, make less and for dough balls, make more. I made 25 pieces then rolled them into balls.Weigh the dough for completely even pieces. Weigh its starting weight and divide it by the number of pieces you want.
Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for 20 minutes, so they become firmer.
Step 5: Shape the bread wreath
I used the camembert wheel as a guide on how big to make my wreath. Place the dough balls around the outside of the camembert.Arrange a second layer, making sure the bread is barely touching. The rolls will expand further as they prove, so there’s no need for them to be placed tightly now. Then, set aside to prove for an hour.
Once ready, brush the rolls with a little egg-wash (or melted butter) and sprinkle with any toppings you like. I used poppy seeds.
Step 6: Bake the bread wreath and camembert
Place everything in the oven at 200ºC/400ºF for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
Once ready, use a small knife to cut off the camembert’s top layer and serve warm from the oven with some cranberry sauce on top.Optionally, add some cranberries (or pomegranate) and rosemary sprigs to the top of the wreath for a more festive ‘holly’ look.
To make ahead and store
To Make ahead: you can allow the dough to prove, covered, in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to start up the recipe again, place it on the counter and wait until it doubles in size, then continue with the recipe.The dough is also freezer friendly for between 2-3 months – thaw to room temperature before continuing with step 4.Once Baked: the dinner rolls are delicious served warm from the oven. However, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To Freeze: Freeze the baked dinner rolls for up to three months. Make sure they’re tightly wrapped in a wrap. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.To Reheat: warm in the microwave (though the buns will be softer), sliced in half and toasted, or in the oven, at 200ºC/400ºF until warmed through (around 10 minutes).
Depending on whether you want dinner roll or dough ball-sized bread change how many pieces you separate the dough into. Feel free to make an extra 1/2 portion of this dough for even more layers to the edible wreath.
If you’re running short on time, you can use store-bought bread dough, then follow the method to create the bread wreath.
Feel free to experiment with flavoring the bread dough. As complementary flavors for the baked camembert, you could use a combination of garlic powder and dried herbs, finely chopped sundried tomatoes, olives, etc.
Brush the baked dinner rolls/dough balls with melted butter and garlic and herbs for something special
To make a perfect circle wreath, you can create the circle with a bit of parchment paper then use it as a guide to place the dough balls before baking.
You can also bake these easy dinner rolls sans the wreath shape if preferred. Just bake on a rectangular baking tray. The camembert can also be baked apart for 15-20 minutes.
Serving suggestions:This tear-and-share bread is best served warm from the oven, while the baked camembert is still melted and gooey. You can also serve it alongside your cheeseboard with several other dips, crudites, and cheeses, like:
As a rule of thumb, I’d try to account for at least two dough balls per guest/member of the household because these are a firm favorite!Top Tip: If you have a large number of guests to feed, I like to create a double batch of the dough and then use the extra dough balls within large round cake tins, so they don’t take as much space in the oven (or fridge/freezer if you have any leftovers).