Sunday, 29 January 2017

Soft White Bread Rolls (Wheat-, Egg-, and Dairy Free)

There are very few things in this life that are better than freshly baked bread. And luckily, using this recipe, it can be enjoyed if you are a spelt eater

 I remember when I was a little girl, Mum used to bake delicious white bread. The excitement of watching the dough rise, then watching the loaf go into the range (yes: we had a range. I was brought up in very rural West Clare in the '90s), then watching it emerge as a delicious treat waiting to happen. When it was St. Patrick's Day, Mum used to tint the dough green, so we could have green toast. It was exactly the kind of novelty that little children revel in, especially my brother, who is called Patrick.

I'm just wondering how many other applications there are for this dough: it seems incredibly versatile. This recipe uses exactly the same bread recipe as I used to make the pork dim sum, but applied to a slightly different context. I also discovered that this bread dough can be used to make delicious thin crust pizza, but I want to experiment with deep dish pizza, which has always been a favourite of mine.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)

☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts
☑ Eggs
☑ Dairy

☒ Gluten
☒ Yeast
☒ Refined sugar products

For 10 small buns, or 8 medium sized buns

  • 12 ounces (340 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1 quarter-ounce (7 grammes) package of instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) baking powder
  • 6 fluid ounces (180 millilitres) hand hot water
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) sugar
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) sunflower oil


First, prepare the yeast dough.

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix 8 ounces (225 grammes) of the flour, the yeast, sugar, oil, and warm water together. Mix into a sticky paste, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size and very spongy in appearance.
  • Once risen, remove from the oven and sieve in the rest of the flour, the baking powder, and salt and mix together by hand until fully incorporated.
  • Knead in the bowl until it forms a dough ball, and until the bowl is completely clean. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead continuously for 4 minutes.
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover again, and leave to rise again for 1 to 1½ hours, or until about doubled in size.

Next, assemble and cook the rolls.
  • When the dough is fully risen, take it out and gently deflate it. Gently flatten the dough into a circle, and cut the circle into 10 or 8 pieces. If you like, you can use a digital scale to be more precise with the division.
  • Take each piece and wad up into a ball, keeping the surface nice and taught. Place on a floured baking tray about an inch apart, so they can grow into each other.
  • Cover lightly with a piece of cling film, put back in the warm place, and proof for a further 25 to 35 minutes, until doubled in size and touching.
  • While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, Gas Mk.7), with a oven proof jug of boiled water on the bottom to make it steamy.
  • When the buns are risen, sprinkle with a little bit of flour, score the tops in a cross shape, then place in the steamy preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, until brown on top.
  • Once cooked, allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

Like with any kind of bread rolls, they are best eaten on the day they are eaten. I follow the adage: today it's bread, tomorrow it's toast, the next day it's for the birds.

However, these can be frozen raw. Once you have formed the dough balls, freeze on a tray before proofing the second time, pack them into bags once frozen, and freeze them for up to 2 weeks. When you want them, line them up on a floured tray as instructed, and allow to thaw and proof in a warm place for about 4 or 5 hours. Bake as instructed.

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