Saturday, 13 June 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?