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.
- 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.