Tuesday, 11 September 2012
The most fantastic bread (rolls), ever!
Out of all the things that I bake (and that is quite a lot), the thing I enjoy most is still bread.
Bread will not be rushed. If you want really good bread you have to abide by it's rules, practise patience and not attempt to cut corners. But great bread is worth the effort, for sure.
Lately I've been favouring bread rolls, mainly because I'm terrible at slicing with any kind of precision. Rolls are so handy and seem to be more appealing for Cameron in his packed lunches.
I've been trying different things - slashing the bread different ways, making new shapes, experimenting with different flour mixes, oven temperatures etc. In the midst of my experimentation I have stumbled upon what Cameron calls "the most fantastic bread, EVER!". It really is good and the idea is so simple and versatile that it's really no extra effort at all.
I start with my usual standard bread roll recipe: 1.25 cups water, 1 tablespoon milk powder, 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, 1 tablespoons of sugar, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 3.25 cups strong bread flour, 1.5 teaspoons dried yeast added to the bread maker (in that order) and set on the dough setting.
When dough is ready I knock it back and shape it in to six equal(ish) rolls using semolina (not oil or flour) to prevent the dough sticking to the surface (the semolina is optional, the idea works without it, but it does add a better texture and crust (works very well for pizza, too)). I leave the rolls to rise one last time (about 30 minutes).
Here comes the clever part. I've been brushing my risen bread dough with a mixture of cooking oil and spice rub. I'm favouring one I bought at Sainsburys (this is not a sponsored post, it's just what I'm using) - a smoked paprika, thyme and garlic mixture that is designed as a flavour rub for meat or potato wedges - but I think any similar spice mix, or your own combination, would work.
I mix a heaped teaspoon of the spice mix with 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil and a pinch of salt and brush the rolls all over so that it is coated and coloured but not drenched.
The rolls are placed on a baking sheet and brushed with the spice oil mixture and then baked as usual, about 20 minutes at 190 degrees Centigrade.
They are hard to resist but I try to let the rolls cool and then when I slice them open they are incredibly fluffy on the inside but have the most amazing savoury texture and flavour on the outside.
I'm going to have to see if my recipe will double up because six is never enough!