I’ve been baking bread on and off for some years now, with varying degrees of success. So this year, 2014, I’ve decided to join the #52loavesproject by littlegreenshed and try to expand my repertoire. I’ve roped Ruby in too, hopefully she’ll start to love it, and keep me focused at the same time. Our first offering of the year are some soft buns, adapted from Paul Hollywood’s Bloomer recipe. Hope he doesn’t mind too much! I’ve made these a few time now and the kids love them, soft golden rolls, fluffy and light inside. Perfect for ham rolls, burger buns or just with melting butter dripping from the sides. Yum!
400g strong white flour (Doves farm for me)
100g strong brown flour
7g instant yeast (Doves Farm again, but Tesco’s sachets work pretty well too)
40ml olive oil
1 egg (free range or organic)
320ml/g water (less the weight of the egg, usually around 55g for a large free range)
Mix the flours together, then add the salt on one side of the bowl, and the yeast on the other. Add the sugar, egg and olive oil in the middle. Pour in the water (I weigh my water and subtract the weight of the egg), and mix the gloopy, slippery mixture with your hand until it all comes together. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead vigorously for about 10 minutes.
Leave in a clean, oiled bowl covered with cling-film to rise for one hour. Punch the risen dough down and tip out onto a floured surface. Press out with your knuckles and the heels of your hands into a rough rectangle, then stretch and fold the corners in to create a tight sausage shape. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (for big baps) or 16 (for smaller rolls). Roll into a roll shape and arrange just touching on an oiled or non-stick baking sheet. Leave again to rise for another 20-30mins while you heat the oven to 220 celsius. Paul Hollywood covers his bread in a large roomy plastic bag to stop a skin forming on the top, and I find this works really well.
After the second rise, the buns should be doubled in size and stuck together. Lightly dust them with flour and bake for 12-15 mins. Sometimes I put a baking tray of water in the base of the oven to create a steam bath, sometimes I don’t. Either way, after cooking time, you get beautiful soft, spongy, light buns.
Let them cool down on a rack, then eat slathered in butter with any filling of your choice.