Ale Bread Rolls

Every time I bake bread I always think that I don’t do it enough, as I really enjoy it and it’s one of those things I want to be so much better at. There is something really therapeutic about baking and let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing that beats the smell of freshly baked bread! I bought Paul Hollywoods ‘How to bake’ book and it totally inspired me to get better at baking. I am determined to work my way through it and become a master baker by the end of it. This is just one of the beautiful recipes from it.

The only down side is that the whole bread baking process is it does take a fair amount of time; which makes it difficult to do it the week when you work long hours and come home hungry. I made these rolls mid-week and I have to say it made me a little impatient and I perhaps cooked the rolls too early as they hadn’t quite doubled in size when I baked them. They were therefore pretty small, although very tasty all the same. The one piece of advice I would give to you when baking bread is to be patient, don’t make bread when you are in a rush and give it time to grow; otherwise all the hard work you put into it in the early stages could be wasted.

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-          400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

-          100g strong wholemeal bread flour

-          10g salt

-          10g instant yeast

-          30g unsalted butter – softened

-          300ml good quality ale

-          Olive oil – for kneading

Makes 14 rolls

Tip the flours into a large mixing bowl and on one side of the bowl put the salt and the other the yeast

Add the butter and three quarters of the ale and just start to bring the ingredients together gentle with your finger tips

Add the ale drop at a time until you the flour is clean from the inside of the bowl and you have formed a rough dough (you may not need all the ale, or you may need a little but more – the dough should be soft but not soggy)

Coat a work surface with a little olive oil, tip the dough out onto it and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, until it forms a soft and smooth skin. Don’t freak out by the initial wet stage, just work through this.

Put the dough in a large, lightly oil bowl, cover with oil cling film and leave somewhere warm (I choose my airing cupboard) for at least an hour until it has doubled in size

Line a 2 baking trays with parchment

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold it into itself repeatedly, until the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough into 14 equal pieces and roll into balls with your hands.

On each tray, place a ball in the centre and then arrange the rest of the balls around it so they are almost touching. You will want 7 balls on each tray

Put each tray in a clean plastic bag and leave again for at least an hour, until the dough is at least double in size.

Pre heat the oven to 200’C

Dust each roll with flour and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown and smelling gorgeous.

Leave to cool on a wire rack slightly before serving.

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22 responses to “Ale Bread Rolls

  1. Your recipes are killing me! They look so great and I’ve so little time to cook right now. Still, I’m marking the ones that look good for the future. Please keep them coming and thanks.

  2. I totally know what you mean. I’d love to bake bread more but just don’t seem to have time enough – especially in the week!

    This recipe looks amazing though. And straight forward! How are you finding the rest of the book?

  3. Hmm, starting with a bottle of ale sure simplifies things. We tried something similar by using the spent yeast at the bottom of the wort bucket, back when we were homebrewing — a time-consuming process. Don’t remember whether it was ale or lager, but either will work.
    The bread we produced was hearty and tasty but alas, our younger one objected strenuously to the taste and so our experiment ended there. Didn’t dare try telling her of the nutritional value.
    Still, we were told that historically the brewery and the bakery stood next to each other, sharing the same source for their yeast.

  4. Love baking bread at home too, like you say, it is very therapeutic and zen like process. Agreed also on the no rushing statement. Nothing can be rushed in the kitchen, bread in particular. Freezing the dough helps if you think you’re gonna run out of time that evening. Yeast goes to sleep and wakes up slowly next day as it thaws in the fridge. nice post!

  5. I’m waaay too impatient to make bread. I settle for pizza dough and focaccia and biscuit etc… Scones! Love quick breads but I have to say those rolls are tempting. And I have time today…

  6. Pingback: Ale Bread Rolls | homethoughtsfromabroad626·

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