This recipe produces a batch of bread rolls in under an hour which is quite remarkable.
It’s better than going to the shop to buy flaccid, pappy rolls when you want an impromptu burger or your son tells you he needs a packed lunch and you have no bread at 7pm on a Sunday.
Do you call them rolls? Or cobs? Or stotties or barms?
I say cob…or even bread cob, just to be clear that I don’t mean a small horse or some corn.
Usually my aim, when making bread is to produce something with a complex taste, a dense crumb and a crisp crust. Not here though. This is for when you want a light fluffy ‘dinner roll’ or something to wrap around a slice of meatloaf which is how I shall be eating these in about an hour’s time. (I’ll share the meatloaf recipe soon as it is completely delicious)
The method is just little bit bonkers. It breaks most of the rules of bread baking. It’s fast, it uses hot-hot water, it doesn’t use strong bread flour, the bread goes into a cool oven, then you turn it up after it’s in. It’s all quite strange, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
It works by the hot water warming the flour, the sugar helping the yeast and the oven proving the dough along the way. Quite ingenious. I can’t take the credit as the initial idea came from Jamie Cooks It Up and I just tailored it for British measurements and taste.
I have made these with half and half, brown and white flour quite successfully and for my next trick I plan to make half a tray of round rolls and half a tray of iced buns.
A Dozen Soft Bread Rolls
175ml Hot Water
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
600g Plain Flour (not strong bread flour)
1 Heaped Tablespoon Instant Yeast (2 x 7g sachets)
1 Beaten Egg mixed with a good pinch of salt to glaze
Preheat the oven to 70°c (155°f) no, it’s not very hot at all! It’s just for proving
Butter a deep baking pan – 9″ x 13″ approximately – I line mine with non stick foil
Put the milk and butter in a measuring jug. Melt in microwave for a 1½ minutes.
Add the sugar and salt to the hot milk and butter, stir well, and add to the stand mixer bowl.
Measure 175ml of very hot water in the jug (nearly too hot for your hand)
Add the hot water to the mixer bowl.
Add about half the flour and let it mix with the dough hook for 1 minute.
Add the yeast, mix a little, then add the rest of the flour.
Allow the dough to knead for 5 minutes, scraping the dough down into the bowl if necessary.
Scrape the soft dough into the centre and cover with cling film (or a hotel shower cap)
Allow to prove for 5 minutes.
Rub a little oil onto a clean worktop and tip the dough on to it.
Cut the dough into quarters, then each quarter into 3 to give you 12.
Roll into balls and place in the greased pan.
Brush with a beaten egg mixed with a pinch of salt.*
Place the pan in the 70°c oven for 20 minutes or until the buns have risen to the top of the pan.
Turn the oven to 180°c/350°f (whilst the tray is still in there) and bake for another 15-18** minutes.
Take the buns out when golden brown.
Best eaten straight away. They keep until next day in a sealed container or you can freeze them.
*You can leave this step out or brush them with melted butter as they come out of the oven
**If your oven takes ages to warm up this may take longer, I press the boost button on my oven
Adapted for metric measurements and my taste from Jamie Cooks it Up: Fluffy Dinner Rolls