Monday, 11 July 2011

Perfect bread rolls with a minimum of effort

Some rolls made at a recent Cambridge Cookery School bread class

This is the first of many posts on one of my true food passions - bread. Earlier this week I was preparing a barbeque for some of my lovely friends and their families and to keep the youngsters happy, I made be some homemade organic burgers. When you've gone to the trouble of making a tasty burger it seems such a shame to put them inside a processed roll, so don't, make your own. Making your own burger buns is easy and so satisfying - and they do your homemade burgers justice. 

When it comes to making any kind of bread, nothing beats fresh yeast for achieving gobsmackingly good bread, except perhaps a long, slow cold rise. The dough for the burger buns was mixed the night before our barbeque and left overnight to slowly rise in the fridge. I used 50g fresh yeast (you can get your hands on first class Richard Bertinet fresh yeast here), 750g strong, white flour from Rebecca Rayner’s Glebe Farm (just north of Cambridge) and about 120g rye. The liquid was 250ml cold milk and 250ml cold water. A pinch of Maldon sea salt and a squeeze of runny honey also went in. It took 10 minutes to measure up and then I left it in my trusted Kitchen Aid to be thoroughly kneaded for about 15 minutes. It then went in the fridge to slowly rise and stayed there until about 5pm this afternoon when the dough came into the warm kitchen and 26 little rolls were shaped and brushed with egg wash and topped with blue poppy seed. I prefer making burgers and the rolls small, so guests can try other food too without getting completely over-full. The rolls baked for 20 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade. 

I can never resist fresh bread, straight from the oven and so I always cut straight into one roll and spread it thickly with salted butter. The flavour and texture was absolutely stunning, almost like sour dough. This is what you get from slow-rising – depth of flavour and a wonderful, chewy texture. Bread at its best.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of homemade bread then do come along to one of our new Sunday morning bread courses.