13th September 2012
I admit I have been a bit distracted this week and have been baking quite a few things from another book! It’s OK, it’s from the GBBO winner Jo Wheatley. I have baked her Smartie Cookies numerous time (they don’t last long in this house), her Chocolate Tiffin three times (by request from my husband’s work colleagues) and lastly her Apple & Blackberry Loaf Cake as I recently came across lots of blackberries whilst walking the dog and couldn’t resist picking them. All three recipes were fantastic.
But, now it’s back to Mary. I said in a previous post there were a couple of chapters in the book that I appeared to be avoiding. One of them being Bread and as I have recently bought Paul Hollywood’s new book, I thought I would start with an ‘easy recipe’ – well I assumed it would be easy as it had the word ‘quick’ in the title!
Two baking trays were lightly greased and then into a very big bowl went the strong white flour, together with the granary flour. To this was added the salt, sugar, a sachet of fast action yeast and a small amount of butter. I rubbed the butter into the dry ingredients by hand. Mary does say to use an electric mixer if you wished, but with the small amount of butter that was added, I didn’t feel it was necessary.
That bit was easy. The next part of the recipe was to add the ‘wet’ ingredients. This consisted of tepid milk and water. Reading through the list of the ingredients it states “about 450ml each of tepid milk and water, mixed”. There was some confusion here, I think it was the word ‘each’ that was confusing me. Do I take it that I therefore need 900ml of liquid, ie 450ml of each or just 450ml overall? My daughter read through it as well and we decided it was 900ml of liquid!
So it was a case of adding the liquid in a continuous stream whilst mixing the ingredients into a dough. I put the dough hooks on my little hand mixer as I thought it would be easier to pour the liquid in with one hand and use the mixer in the other hand. It was all coming together quite well, but I thought it looked a bit wet. I stopped pouring the liquid in. I had about 300ml left! I mixed and mixed the mixture, but it was far to wet and there was no way it was going to form a dough. I obviously needed 450ml of milk/water and not 900ml. So to rescue the dough some more flour (both varieties) was added, the mixer was put to one side and in I went with my hands until the mixture formed a dough, much easier than using the hand mixer. Thank goodness I used my big bowl!
I turned the dough out onto a floured board and Mary says to knead it for a couple of minutes – would this be long enough, time would tell! The mixture was then divided into 12 equal pieces, well sort of equal, these were shaped into rounds and put onto the prepared baking trays. This is obviously where the ‘quick’ came from as the dough wasn’t left to prove for an hour and then knocked back before forming the rolls. They were covered with oiled clingfilm and left on top of the cooker to prove.
It took about an hour for them to prove and double in size. From looking at them I could see that I definitely hadn’t divided them up equally. There was one poor tiny roll in the middle of one of the trays sat next to this enormous roll!
The oven had been put on to preheat about 20 minutes before the end of ‘proving’, so it was nice and hot. The last thing to do before putting them in the oven was to brush them with some milk. Mary does say to sprinkle cracked wheat over the top, but unfortunately it’s not something I have in my cupboard, so this was omitted.
The rolls were put in the oven for 15 minutes. After this time they had started to go golden brown, but were still not quite done – a quick knock on the bottom didn’t sound hollow, so back into the oven they went for a few more minutes. After this time they were a lovely golden colour and sounded hollow. They were put onto a baking tray to cool – well eleven of them were – my daughter and I couldn’t resist breaking open the small roll and eating it – it was delicious.
My husband took a couple of rolls to work the next day and said they were really good, much better than shop bought ones. My son seemed to help himself to them every time he walked into the kitchen, so they must have been good and my daughter had them for her lunch. They were easy to make and I must admit very filling – there was no way I could eat two. Quick and easy to make, so I definitely think these will be baked again.