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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Home Made Bread Rolls

by Gavin, The Greening of Gavin

A while back, My wife Kim decided to make some wholemeal bread rolls for lunch. She though of it because she notice that there was a dough making setting on the bread maker, and wanted to see if we could make our own rolls cheaper than buying them. Usually we would have bought these from our local baker, but as we were trying to be frugal we decided to give it a go.

Firstly, we already had some pre-mixed bread making flour, that we had already used in the bread maker. The flour was fine, but the loaves always came out a little bit too stodgy for our liking. The bread was not firm inside, and was a bugger to cut into slices smaller than a door stop. However, if you left the bread for a day it was easier to cut. But we wanted to eat it the same day we made it!

On the back of the bread mix bag were suggestions for modifying the recipe for moulded products i.e. bread rolls or pizza dough, so I gave it a go. I measured up 560 gms of bread mix, 370 ml of warm water, and 3 teaspoons of bread making yeast. I placed the ingredients into the bread maker bowl, in the order of water, flour, yeast, set the bread maker to the dough setting and pressed start. The cycle took about an hour and 30 minutes. I think that it has one rising phases in this cycle. Once completed, I took the dough out and placed it on a floured board and let it sit for 10 minutes so it was easier to handle. Then Kim worked her magic.

She cut the dough into eight equal portions, and then did a little kneading thing (she remembered how to do this from her college days) and then rolled the top of the dough ball into some quick oats (porridge oats) to decorate the tops. She placed the unbaked rolls onto two pizza trays, oat side up, which had been sprayed with vegetable oil, and I placed warm damp tea towels over the trays. Here are the unrisen rolls.

As it is winter here, the dough would not rise by itself, so we put the gas oven on the "keep warm" setting for 5 minutes, then turned it off. This gave us the right temperature to make the rolls rise. So, into the warm oven with tea towels on top of the trays, and we left them for 30 minutes to rise. Here are the risen rolls.

After the dough had risen, I took the rolls out of the oven and uncovered them. They had nearly doubled in size and were in between the size of a dinner roll and a lunch roll. Just right we thought. Then I heated up our fan forced gas oven to 190C (374F) and after about 5 minutes put the rolls into bake. We baked the rolls for 18 minutes and left them to cool on the side.

Of course we couldn't wait the 5 minute cooling time before sampling a steaming wholemeal roll spread with butter. It was so delicious, and both Kim and I said at the same time, "Why didn't we try this before!". We both laughed and kept eating the tasty morsel. Here are the finished rolls. Don't they look yummy.

Since that day, we have made bread rolls many more times, and have found that they go so quickly (into our tummy's). Ben has had some in his school lunch box, and we eat them when we have a stew or casserole for dinner. It certainly beats making bread in the bread maker or buying them from the baker and I figured out that it costs about 7 cents per roll if you cost up the flour, electricity and gas. Pretty good seeing that you can't buy 6 rolls for less than $3 in the supermarket, or 50 cents each at the bakery.

Our success gave us the idea of making a hybrid loaf of bread. What I mean by that is, make the dough in the bread maker, and cook the dough in the gas oven in a proper bread tin. Don't get me wrong, the bread maker cooks a decent loaf of bread, but it doesn't look like a loaf of bread as it is a very tall loaf with a small top. So we made that the next day. Here is the result, and it tasted much better than store bought bread.

So, if you haven't tried it yet, I urge you to give bread making a go. It is extremely satisfying and the finished product is very tasty. If you do bake your own bread, let us know your basic method via a comment. There are so many simple ways to make our daily bread, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

Gavin, those rolls look lovely, but may I point out that they will, indeed, rise - even at your house, even in winter? Yeast rises, it just sometimes takes a bit longer. I've found that leaving it for the longer rise often makes for a nicer bread. Thanks so much for your blog, by the way; it is always a learning experience when I stop by.

Una - from the N. hemisphere latitude equivelent of Hobart, Tasmania - and my bread rises also, even in December :-)

Regan Family Farm said...

There is nothing like fresh, homemade bread! I grind my wheatberries fresh, then mix in a Bosch mixer (6 loaves at a time). Going back to store-bought is impossible!

Kathy said...

Hi Una! I am from Hobart! Well, 5 min drive away, lol. And yes, my bread rises, tho it's been so cold this winter so far I like to help it along by putting it next to the heater :-)

I often make bread, and once I did make rolls, using the same recipe. I kneaded for longer (at least ten min, prob close to 15 min all up)and placed the blobs of dough close enough so that they would almost touch after rising, and so that they would join during cooking. I cooked them slowly (160C) so I wouldn't get a hard crust. When they came out they were beautiful: pale golden, cooked through but an edible crust. When pulled apart, they got those nice links of dough stretching out (as shop bought rolls do)--this is due to all the kneading.

It is good to leave bread for about 30 minutes, as this develops the crumb, making it easier to cut etc.

TicklyToes said...

Lovely looking rolls. Una is right though... it will rise. I often let my bread dough rise in the fridge overnight for baking the next morning.

Dia said...

These look & sound heavenly - ah, fresh bread!!
I love making sourdough raisin rolls from the Tasahara Bread book (my version is over at my V. Vale blog :) & have been using coconut oil this sping - love it!! Have some granola in the oven as I write - again, SO simple, less expensive, & more control on what goes in!

Kate said...

Gorgeous rolls! Since the beginning of 2007, I've made all the bread we eat. Before that I never baked bread at home, though way back when I had worked in bakeries (mostly sweet things, but a few breads too). My basic method is the no-knead for our sandwich breads. It produces an excellent rustic round loaf. I use a mixture of flours and rolled grains, so it's a multigrain bread. I've also collected three cookbooks on bread and have started including a flat herb bread in my regular repertoire.

I've gotten good enough at baking bread in the last few years that I can now barter with local farmers for honey, pastured meats, and raw dairy! Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

I try not to bake in the summer, so right now I've got some 15 loaves of bread stashed in the chest freezer. We're hoping it'll get us through at least till September.

Rinelle said...

I've tried a couple of times making rolls in the breadmaker (my DD loves rolls), but always get put off by how sticky the dough is when I take it out of the breadmaker. Is it supposed to be like that, or am I doing something wrong?

livinginalocalzone said...

I love bread-making, and have been making all my own bread for almost a year now. As a child we always had only homemade flat bread, and there is nothing to compare. Yeast breads are newer to be, but quite satisfying and easy to work into life, as they don't require "tending" during the various rises, aside from a quick knead and punch down. I agree, bread making is something to be embraced!

Note: I agree with a previous commentator, yeast will rise whatever the weather, its just a question of how long it takes. You'll need to put it in a warm place (try on top of the fridge) but it does work.

Note to Rinelle: I make a recipe of rolls (well, it can be used for any bread, its on my blog under recipes) that is VERY sticky. Hard to handle sticky. But the rolls are delicious and tender. It'll work, but you might have to be liberal with the bench flour and flour on your hands.

Mickle in NZ said...

Oh, isn't it such a wonderful discovery. My dear Dad worked this out and has been making the breads for himself and Mum now for many years. He is onto his 3rd bread maker (the previous 2 wore out!!!), they do all the mixing for him.

I've taken on the challenge - mine are all hand made but I realise - my hands are younger and I'm only baking for me.

Dad made a mix that we turned into mini rolls - popular at their 50th wedding anniversary celebrations last Saturday!!!

Mam said...

I too discovered this method awhile back. I purchased a brand new bread maker at a yard sale for $5.00. The owner had misplaced the instructions. A quick email to the manufacturer and I received the instruction booklet in a pdf format. During our Canadian winter, I'll mix the bread early in the morning, set the machine on dough, then when it finishes I place the dough on top of our propane fireplace to rise.

SentimentsbyDenise said...

I've been making bread using this method lately - letting my bread machine do all the work (mixing, resting, kneading). I put it on the dough cycle, removing it when complete and finishing the final rise and bake in a bread pan. I, too, prefer the way the loaf looks in the bread loaf pan as opposed to the bread machine pan.
I've tried my hand at making hot dog buns once. They were okay - we'll continue to experiment until we find that perfect recipe!
Thanks for sharing!

angela said...

I put my bread in front of the wood fire and the heat helps them to rise.
I gave my bread maker away because of the difficulties I had making bread and now make it totally by hand. It is great for stress relief.

Rose said...

Great looking rolls Gavin! I do much the same as you, using the heater at this time of year to help with the second rise. Thanks for working out the cost -- I have often wondered about that.

If you can track down gluten flour -- I finally found it at a big local deli -- a teaspoon will help the rise. I picked this up from Rhonda and it works a treat. Just saw your cheese on your blog. Wow!

Annodear said...

Like you, I wasn't thrilled with the bread from the bread maker... so after not using it for a couple years, I gave it away! So sorry I hadn't thought to combine a "bread machine / loaf pan in real oven" approach!!

Annodear said...

Oh, and those rolls are BEAUTIFUL!!

helen in france said...

I have made all my own bread for the last 35 years. Bread makers weren't even dreamed about then! We eat a lot of bread as it is always delicious
I use a Kenwood Chef to make the dough and then cook it in tins in a traditional fan oven.
My recipe
1 1/2 pints of lukewarm water
1 1/2 oz fresh yeast or 2 tbsps of dried yeast
1 tsb salt
2 tsb sugar
a dollop of oil
1 1/2 lbs strong brown wholemeal flour
1 1/2 lbs of strong white flour
seeds - optional

Mix the water, sugar,yeast and 4oz flour together and leave until working well or frothing.
Add all other ingredients and knead in the machine until well combined. Leave for 5 - 10 minutes in the bowl
Turn out onto a floured surfaced and knead again to the shape required. I make loaf tins normally so make a sausage and cut it into three lumps weighing around 1 lb 12ozs each.
Put into a greased tin or glass (Pyrex) container and leave till doubled in size.
Cook for about 30 mins in an oven at 190°C.
Rolls or smaller loaves cook in a shorter time.

I make at least six loaves at a time and freeze them - more economical on energy costs.The cost works out at about one third of shop prices assuming that you can buy anything of similar quality in the locality.
My recipe is based on one published by John and Sally Seymour in the early 1970s in their book Self Sufficiency.
Living now in France where we find their normal daily bread far from satisfactory I have to get all my flour brought over from England to continue making it. It's worth it. No one minds bringing flour in exchange for a loaf of delicious home made bread.

Yvette said...

Having eaten the bread described by Helen from France all my life (...and it is good), my bad bread tolerance is pretty low. I don't make my own any more as German bread (where I live) is excellent and the selection can't be topped. I do have a good English bread book where it expressly tells you to rise the bread in a cool spot as it develops a better structure.