Introduction: Soft Bread Rolls
Soft, slightly sweet bread rolls with a fluffy texture.
Ingredients: (to make about 24 medium-sized rolls)
- 1000g Strong bread flour
- 20g salt
- 80g sugar
- 20g yeast
- 80g butter
- 600ml cold water
- Semolina (or more flour) - for dusting
- A big mixing bowl
- Plastic tub with lid (about 3 litres)
- Kitchen scales
- Baking trays
- Baking paper (optional)
Step 1: Prepare a Tub for Rising
Put some vegetable/olive/rapeseed oil into a plastic tub (about 3 litres) and smear about - don't forget the lid.
Step 2: Flour
Measure 1000g (1 Kilo) of strong bread flour into a big bowl
Step 3: Salt
Add 20g of salt
Step 4: Sugar
Add 80g of sugar (really doesn't matter which kind)
Step 5: Yeast
Add 20g of dried instant yeast
Step 6: Butter
Add 80g of butter cut up into small lumps
Step 7: Mix & Rub
Use the tips of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour so that there are no lumps left - also give the rest of the ingredients a bit of a mix together
Step 8: Add Water
This is the trickiest bit - add the water slowly - up to 600ml - the exact amount will depend on the absorbency of your flour.
You need to add enough water so that your mix is slightly sticky - but not gooey!
(there's a subtle difference between the two).
If you add a bit at a time & mix in-between, it will be easier. From the examples, I added most - but kept a little back (maybe 75ml)
Step 9: Mix
Mix the dough with a spoon or scraper until all the flour is gone - then wade in and squidge it about.
You can see from my hands that you do need to make it quite sticky.
Step 10: Knead
Knead the dough with your hands - technique really doesn't matter.
The purpose is to try and stretch the dough, rather than just squash it.
10-15 minutes should do it.
Step 11: Halfway
This is about halfway through kneading - you can see it's not ready yet as the dough is still a bit lumpy - though as you knead it, it should be getting less sticky.
Step 12: Done Kneading
The dough should suddenly turn smoother and easier to knead.
Scoop it into a ball and you're done.
Step 13: Rise
Put the dough into your greased tub, put the lid on and leave it somewhere warm. It's winter here, so mine has to snuggle the radiator on a chair. Though you can rise the bread in the same bowl you used to mix it in (cover it with a damp cloth so that the dough doesn't dry out.
Step 14: Risen
The dough has risen enough when it has doubled in size.
For me, this is usually 90 minutes or so - but a couple of hours if it's colder
Step 15: Knock Back
Punch, or squash the air out of the dough so it goes back to nearly its original size
Step 16: Dust
Lay out a plate of semolina (or oatmeal, porridge oats, or just plain flour) to coat the rolls with. This looks nice and also helps the rolls to stop sticking to the tray.
Step 17: Baking Tray
Any flat tray will do - I like to cover mine with silicone baking paper to stop sticking, but you can manage without it.
Step 18: Shape
Shape the dough into small balls (80g each for a medium/small roll), then roll them in semolina and space evenly on the tray.
Step 19: Prove
The rolls need to 'prove' so that they are doubled in size. I have a setting on my oven for this (a very, very gentle heat). I also put some water in the bottom of the oven so that it's nice and steamy - this helps them to have a better crust.
If you haven't got this oven feature, then put them somewhere warm (loosely covered with a plastic bag to stop them drying out).
This usually takes 40 minutes or so - you're looking for them to have doubled in size - but it's a bit of a guess. If they start to get wrinkly on top, then they've reached their maximum and are starting to shrink back. Ideally, don't leave them this long - but it's not a disaster.
Step 20: Cook
Turn the oven up to 210c and bake them for 10-15 minutes (less for smaller rolls, more for bigger).
Add some more water if there's none left from your proving stage.
After 10 minutes, you can safely take a peek to see how they are doing. You're looking for a nice golden brown colour - though depending on how evenly your oven cooks, you may have to turn the tray around a couple of times.
The bottoms should sound hollow when tapped.
Step 21: Cool
When cooked, place them on a wire rack to cool.
Eat the same day - though they can be easily frozen.
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