Introduction: Simple Sourdough Rolls
So, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. My friends at Uni always ask me how I find the time, and I tell them "I have to". I find cooking very relaxing and I really can't live without home cooked food. It also helps that it's much cheaper to cook your own food than it is to buy street or fastfood (especially in a country like Denmark, where labour is very expensive). So, apart from enjoying the great flavours of homecooked food it also helps me balance my economy as a student.
And if there is one thing that creates a lot of value in my household, it is "Homemade Bread"!
Nothing tastes as good as bread fresh out of the oven! It's Vegan friendly, super easy to make and it costs like 1€ to make a batch of fresh rolls. So why does everyone not bake amazing bread at home? Quite simple, there are too many barriers in most recipes. If you've ever hand kneaded a bread dough for 15 minutes you know what I'm talking about. It's hard work, and if you don't want to do it, you have to get a machine that can. Some people figured this out and people started cold rising ! This method creates amazing bread, but also takes up half of your fridgespace.
So i'll teach you how I do it. I bake around 3 times a week and this recipe works every time. At this point I probably spend less than 20 minutes in the kitchen every time i bake, and I'll even clean up after myself.
I can't promise you that you'll get be able to do it as fast as I can, but I can promise you that it's worth it!
2 Cups of plain flour
0.5 Cups of Oats
1 tablespoon of salt
0.5 Cups of Sour Dough
1 Cup of water (approximately)
Step 1: Step 1: Getting the Dough Ready
Like people who put their dough in the fridge, I also like to slow raise. This means that you'll need to plan in advance. The whole idea of this recipe is to remove all other barriers (apart from using sour dough) that you face in baking bread without decreasing the quality of the bread in any major way.
So, keeping it simple, you mix the ingredients. All at the same time, no fuss. I actually grab a coffee mug and get started. I first add the dry ingredients (because flour sticks to a wet cup) and then sourdough followed by water (kind of cleans it up a little). I then grab the tablespoon i used to add salt and mix the dough. You don't need to knead, just make sure it's all mixed together nicely.
The balance of water is quite important. If you are new to baking I recommend being a little careful. baking bread with more water is not impossible, and in my experience people tend to add more and more water the more they bake, but it is challenging to manage if you don't have much experience with baking. So in the beginning go slow with the water, looking at the 4th picture as a reference point.
I then put the lid on and leave it for approximately 20 hours (sometimes i walk into the kitchen before going to bed and turn the dough, but that just because i like to feel like i'm in control of what is happening).
If you don't have sourdough you can add tiny bit of fresh yeast (like the size of a green pea) with a little water and flour.
Step 2: Step 2: Waiting
So if you made it this far, you have 20 hours before you have to do anything again, so that leaves time for some theory (juhuuuu...). I don't want to bore you, but knowing a little about what is actually happening is kind of nice, when you brag in front of your friends! If you don't care and your dough looks like the one in the picture, skip ahead! You need to prep your rolls and bake!
First of all, baking with sourdough can be quite the challenge. This recipe has always worked great for me, but I've also ruined so much good bread over the years (a moment of silence) figuring out how to make it work, and I understand why some people find it a little overkill.
Basically, sourdough is yeast from the air that is fermenting the mix of water and flour you keep it in. That means that you can create a sourdough by leaving a mix of water and flour out on you kitchen table for around 2 days. I've heard that sourdough creates more vitamines and stuff than factory yeast, but I can't make any guarantees. I use it due to the slight acidity it brings into the bread, apart from the fact it's super cool to have your own living organism in the fridge. You keep it alive by adding flour and water to it (see pictures). You want the texture to be a thick liquid like the texture of pancake dough. In my experience it can last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge before it turns into something you definantly don't want to add to food. Also, it is normal that it splits and looks weird. Just mix it with a spoon and if it smells sour and not like death you are still in the safezone.
So 20 hours...? Yes, time is your friend. Or more accurately, water and time is your friend. What happens is that the water in your dough helps to unite the chains of gluten that is in your flour, giving your bread great structure. This does take time and that's why you normally need to knead the dough, when baking with yeast and a 2-hours rising time. The time also gives us the possibility to use sourdough instead of yeast.
Step 3: Step 3: Prep Your Rolls and Bake
First bring your dough out and make sure it has risen to a satisfying level. It needs to have bubbles and look alive (like the picture from before).
Then, put some flavourless oil or flour on the table and remove the dough from the bowl. Cut it into 8 pieces and fold them up, like i do in the video. You basically take the edges of the bread and fold them into the center. It's important to fold the bread, because it ensures that the ends of the gluten chains are all tied up. Imagine the gluten like a balloon, where you are tying a knot, ensuring the air stays inside the balloon. That's why you fold bread.
You can use the dough cutter to wiggle the loose ends into place before moving them to a baking sheet or spatula, where you can top them with oats, bread crumbs or poppy seeds.
Now turn on the oven to 225 degrees celsius and wait for the oven to heat. These 30 minutes ensures a little extra rising that makes your bread even better. This is very important if the bread didn't rise all that well. If you have a baking stone or baking steel (like me) you should leave the oven a little longer.
When everything is ready you throw the bread into the oven for about 20-30 minutes (my oven is very bad, so it kind of differs). I recommend a dark brown colour. You want a little more colour when you bake with sourdough. This creates more flavour.
When the rolls are done you bring them out, cut them up and share them with your friends and family! They will love you for it!
I hope this will help you get into baking! And if not, you might be able to brag that you know how to bake with sourdough!
Second Prize in the
Kitchen Skills Challenge