The Great South African Bake Off

Thyme and onion twist rolls and ginger pineapple knots

Recipe by Alice from The Great South African Bake Off


The Great South African Bake Off - Past series

BBC Lifestyle


Thyme and onion twist rolls:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 30ml sugar
  • 2¼tsp instant yeast
  • ½tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 5tbsp butter
  • 2tbsp dried thyme
  • 1tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • Extra butter, for spreading
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbsp water
  • 1tbsp large rock salt
  • 1tbsp poppy seeds

Ginger and pineapple knots:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 2¼tsp rapid rise yeast
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • ¼ cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2tsp water


  • 2 whole pineapples
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2tbsp grated ginger
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • ½tsp cinnamon

Preparation method

Thyme and onion twist rolls:

  1. Preheat warming drawer to 60°C.
  2. Heat milk and butter until butter is melted.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients, and then add liquids.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for 3 minutes.
  5. Knead for 5 minutes.
  6. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover to rise.
  7. When doubled in size, after approximately 60 minutes, place on a floured surface.
  8. Sauté onion with the dried thyme, dried Italian herbs, ground cumin and crushed garlic in the butter.
  9. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Roll out dough into a 12 x 18 inches rectangle.
  11. Spread an even amount of butter on bottom ⅔ of the dough.
  12. Spread onion mix over ⅔ of the dough.
  13. Sprinkle fresh thyme.
  14. Fold dough over like a letter.
  15. Cut into 1/inch long strips with a dough scraper.
  16. Cut each strip again and twist to form a ‘Swedish knot’ bun.
  17. Place on a baking sheet.
  18. Cover all buns and let rise again until they double in size.
  19. Brush egg and water wash over the tops.
  20. Sprinkle with rock salt and poppy seeds.
  21. Bake in the oven at 180°C oven for 20 minutes.
  22. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

Ginger and pineapple knots:

  1. Mix 1½ cups bread flour, whole wheat flour and yeast.
  2. Heat milk and butter until butter melts and is warm.
  3. Add sugar and salt to milk, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture.
  5. Add pineapple juice, egg, vanilla and lemon zest, and beat until well combined.
  6. Switch to the dough hook, and gradually add the rest of the flour as needed.
  7. Knead for about 8 minutes, until smooth.
  8. Form into a ball and place in well-oiled bowl.
  9. Cover and let rise for 60-90 minutes, until doubled in size.
  10. Make jam filling.
  11. Punch down dough and let rest another 10 minutes.
  12. Divide dough into 12 pieces and shape.
  13. Roll sausages out, make a knot then tuck ends under dough.
  14. Cover dough with damp cloth while shaping.
  15. Place on a pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  16. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  17. After second rising, make indentation with a wooden spoon in the centre.
  18. Fill with 1tbsp pineapple and ginger jam.
  19. Make egg wash and lightly brush over each roll.
  20. Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes.


  1. Slice each pineapple rind off, and cube the flesh.
  2. Heat with sugar and lemon juice.
  3. Cook until jam-like consistency.
  4. Add cinnamon.
  5. Let cool.

The following recipe was created and written by the accredited contestant of The Great South African Bake Off. BBC Worldwide accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of ingredients, method or content.