Soft white bread rolls

These were so soft – they made for perfect chicken burgers.

BREAD ROLLS

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 packet of yeast (instant is fine)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 200ml milk
  • 1tbsp butter

GLAZE

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1tbsp milk
  • pinch of salt
  • sesame seeds or poppy seeds

METHOD

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan, until the butter is just starting to melt.
    (Science bit: Don’t let the milk get too warm. It should be around 38C – body temperature – for the yeast to activate.)
  3. Pour the milk and butter into the dry ingredients, and mix together to make a rough dough. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour (try not to add too much – it’s ok for the dough to be a little sticky).
  4. Lightly flour your work surface, and knead the dough until it is smooth and silky (this takes about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Put the dough in a greased bowl, and cover it with some greased cling-film.
  6. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise for about an hour, until it has doubled in size (remember, yeast likes warmth).
  7. Once it has risen, turn the dough onto a floured surface.
  8. Pull off pieces of dough, about the size of golf balls. Flatten the smaller piece of dough, and pull the sides into the middle of the dough. This will ensure your rolls rise in a nice shape. (Bad description of what to do I know.. See The Pink Whisk for a pictorial description.)
  9. Place the rolls onto a greased baking tray. Give each roll some space for growth. Cover with a tea towel for a second chance to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat your oven to about 220C.
  11. Beat together the eggs, milk and pinch of salt, and paint the risen dough with the glaze, before sprinkling on some poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
  12. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. They should be a nice golden brown colour. Put them on a cooling rack, or do as I did; slice in half, smother in ketchup, cheese and salad. Add a nice meaty chicken burger and devour!

Indulgent chocolate brioche

Winter is here. Icy mornings are a norm. Hat, scarf and gloves – a necessity.

Let’s bring some sunshine into the cold days ahead with some gorgeous chocolate brioche. The scent alone will brighten up your house.

Chocolate brioche

  • 200g strong white flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 1/2 packet of instant yeast
  • 56ml warm milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g softened butter
  • Your favourite chocolate
This mixture made about 5 small brioche buns.

NO-EGG GLAZE

I love a good glaze on my baked goods, but detest wasting a whole egg for it. Here’s an alternative:

  • 2tbsp milk
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 2tbsp sugar

METHOD

  1.  Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the milk and eggs, and work it into a dough. Knead this dough for about 8 minutes, until it is soft, glossy and feels like elastic.
  3. Add the softened butter, and mix the dough further for about 4-5 minutes. It will be very sticky to work with at this stage.
  4. Put the sticky dough in a bowl. Cover, and chill in the fridge for about 5 hours (or overnight). It becomes easier to shape after this time.
  5. Grease a deep baking tin.
  6. Take the brioche from the fridge, and tip it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it a few times to knock out some air.
  7. Make 5 round balls of dough. Add some chocolate into the balls, as you go along (chopped, grated, chunked – anything goes). Place the dough balls in the baking tin.
  8. Cover the baking tin with a clean plastic bag, and leave it in a warm area for 2-3 hours, whilst it rises.
  9. Heat the oven to 170C.
  10. Make the glaze by gently warming the milk, oil and sugar until the sugar has just melted.
  11. Brush the glaze onto the brioche rolls.
  12. Pop the risen, glazed brioche in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown (insert a skewer into the centre to make sure it comes out clean).
  13. Remove the brioche from the tin, and cool on a wire rack. Serve them warm, or at room temperature. These make a sunday breakfast absolutely awesome.
Adapted from Paul Hollywood – Thanks P!

Brioche bite

Under an hour soda bread

When I’m in my ‘sick bed’ I know I should stay put but I just caaan’t! I find it difficult to sit still at the best of times, and when I’m ill is no excuse.

Much to my housemate’s dismay – today I decided to make bread. In my defence, it is EASY bread. Within an hour I had decided to make the bread, located all the ingredients, and devoured the damned thing!

Bread making can be laborious – but this one is SO easy. Try it!

Soda bread doesn’t rely on yeast to rise, so there is NO proving process. When combined; the bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and buttermilk create the carbon dioxide necessary to make the dough rise.

SODA BREAD

  • 75g plain flour
  • 150g wholemeal flour (I used a country grain bread flour, because I like the bits)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp cream of tartar
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g butter
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • Handful of linseed (optional)
These ingredients make a small loaf, which was all I needed. Feel free to double or even triple the mix.

METHOD

  1. Make buttermilk. Bring normal milk to the boil. Once it has cooled, add a teaspoon or so of lemon juice or white wine vinegar (whichever is on hand). Give it a mix – and voila – you have buttermilk!
  2. Preheat your oven to about 200C. Prepare a baking tray with some baking paper.
  3. Put the two types of flour, salt, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
  4. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients, until there are no lumps.
  5. Pour in the buttermilk, and mix it quickly using your hands. Knead it very lightly, and STOP as soon as you have a soft dough.
  6. Form a ball out of the dough, and plop it on your prepared baking tray. Use a sharp knife to make a few deep slashes on the top, and sprinkle on your linseed.
  7. Allow it to sit for a minute, before you put it in the oven. Put a separate pan of water in the oven to create steam (so your bread doesn’t dry out).
  8. Bake it for about 25 minutes, or until it is beautiful and golden.

Slice the loaf whilst it is warm, and enjoy. A perfect treat when feeling under the weather.  Or a quick bread to make fresh for a weekend breakfast.

Slightly adapted from London Eats – Thanks L!