Easy Bread Rolls Recipe March 15 2020 6 Comments

There really isn’t anything as warming and comforting in the world than the smell of freshly baked bread.  It’s like getting a huge hug through your nose (now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type!)

As a cake baker by trade, it’s not often I’d experiment with baking ‘just for fun’ – mainly because I’m going out of my comfort zone and leaving behind my cake recipes/ingredients that I could likely put together in my sleep!

Also, I don’t know about you, but the BIG thing that puts me off bread making in anyway at all is T.I.M.E. – like, really!!  All that proofing/prooving (can someone tell me which one is right as I’ve no effin clue!) just seems like such a faff and I just get bored way too easily and like things that are made quick and easily.

Sooooo, with all that in mind, I found a super quick way to tackle this bread malarkey and it. . . is. . . the. . .  .bomb!
So much so that I shot myself in the foot with being too good at it that the kids insisted I baked the bread for their school lunches . . . . and if I’m honest, that lasted two weeks.

The best part?
Hold on to your hats folks,

You can get yourself a dozen bloody gorgeous baps in well under an hour.

Yup
An hour

Now forgive me here, I’m usually the first to scroll by a recipe that involves ‘cups’!  BUT, I discovered that it makes life so much easier for this recipe AND you can pick up measuring cups really easily in the likes of B&M or Poundland – win!

Ok, so into a large bowl (I use my stand mixer bowl for this) add:

  • 1 cup + 2tbsp warm water (hand hot is the best, not scalding, you’ll kill the yeast!)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried active yeast

   

The yeast will start to activate in the warm water and will begin feasting on the sugar.  This in turn generates carbon dioxide, creating a big bubbly, frothy mixture and inevitably gorgeously soft bread rolls.  Yeast metabolism also does generate a bit of a brewery whiff. . . . .but be rest assured, this does NOT carry over to the end product!

(*Oh! At the end I’ll talk about a few flavour vairations!)

Leave this on your counter top for about 10 minutes and it will look similar to the first image below.

 

 

To the bubbly mix you need to add:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (if you want to, use plain flour)

As you’ll see from the above image, I’ve used my dough hook on my mixer – I do believe the recurring theme on this blog is my insane laziness. . . . . . .anyway, I digress.
Mix the yeasty mix with the flour for about FIVE minutes on a medium speed (alternatively, chuck it all about your counter top for about 10-15mins until smooth).
If any of the mixture starts to stick to the bowl, add a little more flour, a spoonful at a time. The aim is to have a smooth ball of dough form around the hook.

 

   


Whilst the dough hook is doing it’s thing, grab yourself a shallow baking tray.
My little dish was an awesome Poundland find and measures about 9″ x 11″.  Grease the tray with a little oil, simply to stop the rolls sticking.
Give the dough a little knead on a floured surface and roll into a long oval shape, we’re gonna get cutting!

 

Now to cut and shape our little rolls!  We’re going to cut this hunk-a-dough into 12 smaller pieces.
The easiest way to do this is simply:

  • cut our dough in half,
  • cut each half into thirds
  • cut each third in two

. . . . . .magic!
I’ve used a metal cake scraper to divide my dough, but a knife will do the job equally well!
PLEASE don’t get hung about some being bigger than others, pop the smaller ones in the middle of the tray when we come to bake them, allowing the bigger ones a quicker bake at the edge of the tray.

   

Now to shape them into inky dinky little rolls!  Stretch them out and pucker the edges in and under the bun before rolling in your hand.

   

Once all shaped and looking more roll like, we’re going to pop them into our greased tin, cover them with a tea towel and leave them somewhere nice and warm for 10 minutes.  Just TEN minutes!  I usually dash upstairs and pop them in the hotpress, but choose whatever hotspot your house has and leave them be.

Whilst they are sitting pretty and the yeast is getting jiggy, we’ll need to preheat the oven to about 200 degrees C – bread likes a super toasty oven!
A little tip for when we add the bread to the oven, is to chuck a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven at the same time (you need like 4 hands to do it, so employ help if you can).  The ice will melt on contact with the floor of the oven and generate steam and steam equals a lovely crusty finish to our rolls.

Now all that is required is to close that oven door real quick and bake for about 10-12minutes!

And ta-da! They are done!
10 minute fast prove, 10 minute rise, 10 minute bake  – they’d almost take a half hour if it wasn’t for the shaping bit!


Flavour options:
When I taught how to bake these at the studio we added some delicious twists to the original recipe:

Sundried Tomato & Olive:
For this tweak, I replaced the oil in the original recipe with the oil from the jar of the sun dried tomatoes and a few finely chopped sun dried tomatoes, black olives and a sprinkle of oregano to the bowl before mixing.

Cheese & Onion:
This tweak came by adding onion powder to the mix (limited to this at the studio, but have often wondered how caramelised onions would work with this dough?) along with some grated Parmesan and also a little sprinkle of Parmesan to the top of the rolls before the go into the oven.

I think during one class there was a suggestion for ‘breakfast rolls’ – adding cooked, chopped bacon, sausage and mushrooms to the mix – now that’s bread I can get on board with!


Let me know your thoughts and let me know if you try them out!
They are definitely at their best on the day they’re made, but I simply popped a few into a freezer bag and defrosted them when I needed them!

Baking bread couldn’t be easier 🙂

K xo