Miami rolls are a challah based onion pocket roll. They’re very soft, sweet, flavorful, and delicious. Pretty traditional to jewish bakeries in New York. I worked at a bakery all throughout high school and these were my favorite things there. When they closed down in 2020 I tried to get the recipe but the owner wouldn’t share it with me. Through 10+ iterations I have engineered a recipe that is exactly how I remember them. This recipe is truly worth sharing to keep the tradition of them alive considering so many classic New York bakeries continue to go out of business. I have no clue why they’re named Miami rolls.
This recipe can also be used to make a fantastic challah! Create the same dough and instead of forming it into individual rolls just braid it into a challah (or split it in half and form two). Bake time will take 5-10 minutes longer.
300g AP Flour 300g Bread Flour 20g Active Dry Yeast 1/4c Vegetable Oil 3/4c Water 60g Sugar (+ 15g for yeast activation) 15g Salt 2g Annatto powder 2 eggs 2 egg yolk 1 large yellow onion Dried onion flakes
In a large bowl, stir to combine the 20g of active dry yeast with 15g of sugar and 3/4 cup of warm water. Let sit until bubbly and active.
While yeast is activating, measure out the rest of your ingredients.
Whisk the 1/4c oil into yeast.
Whisk 2 large eggs + 2 yolk into mixture, one at a time. Reserve egg whites for washing the top.
Whisk 60g sugar, 15g salt, and 2g Annatto powder into mixture a little a time until fully combined.
Gradually add the 600g flour (300g AP flour, 300g bread flour) a little at time until the dough holds together well enough to knead with hands.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead very thoroughly until it passes a window pane test. (I typically knead it for 15 minutes straight)
Grease a large bowl, place the dough into it then flip the dough over so every side is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until just about doubled in size. (Can use the turned off oven. Can also place a small pot of boiling water at the bottom of the oven to provide extra moisture).
While it rises to double in size, caramelize a large yellow onion:
Dice onions and cook low and slow in a tablespoon of olive oil until transluecent.
Allow to cool.
Break up the dough into individual balls that are 60g each.
Individually flatten each piece to an oblong shape, about eighth of an inch thick. Place a spoonful of caramelized onions across the center. Fold the long ends into one another so they just overlap. Fold up the other individual sides to seal the onions in. The assembled miami roll should be a small rectangle a little smaller than your closed fist.
Arrange the miami rolls so they have about a half an inch of space between them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. It is desirable for them to fuse together a bit when rising/baking.
Egg wash the top and sides of all of the rolls.
Allow to rise again until doubled in size. About 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Egg wash again and sprinkle dried onion flakes on top.
Bake for 20 minutes, placing a sheet of tin foil on top half way through to reduce browning while the roll bakes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before eating.
I typically store the rolls in a large ziploc bag once they’re completely cooled. If you notice a lot of condensation forming you can just leave the bag open a little bit.
Miamis freeze very well, you can keep them in the freezer for 3+ months. You can thaw them on the counter or in the microwave for 10 seconds before putting cutting them and popping them in the toaster. You can also keep them in the fridge for about a week. Overall they toast really nicely.