Monday, 17 September 2012

Poppy Seed Dinner Rolls

So were you impressed with Becky's baking skills in the last post? You were? Then be even more impressed that, on her very first attempt at making bread, not only did Becky turn out an amazing Pesto Bread Wreath, she also made these wonderful poppy seed dinner rolls! I have to confess, we were quite seriously proud of ourselves at turning out two very different recipes in one afternoon!

The fun part of this one was coming up with all sorts of different shapes to try out - I'll confess, some were more successful than others! The knots and plaits were our favourites, so I'll share with you how we did them, but our swirls became a little, um, unclear and our attempts to make neat little simple dinner rolls just looked like we ran out of ideas for the last piece of dough! Please do share any ideas you have, we'll try them out on our next experiment.

These are delicious fresh out the oven, with a little bit of butter (mmmm), but they also freeze really well. Simply wrap any rolls you don't need in clingfilm and foil and freeze for up to 1 month. When you want to eat them simply remove them from their wrappings and defrost at room temperature for 2 hours. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190c/ 170c fan/ 375f, wrap them in just foil (this will stop the crust from browning too much, seeing as they're already baked) and bake for about 25 minutes, until they're just warmed through.

Poppy Seed Dinner Rolls
Makes 12
500g bread flour
340ml milk
25g butter, cubed
7g/ 2 tspns fast action yeast
2 tspns caster sugar
2 tspns salt
Water, for sprinkling
Poppy Seeds, for sprinkling
The first few steps are pretty much copy and pastes from yesterday....

1) To make the dough you can follow this bit whether you're using a mixer to combine the ingredients or your bread machine. Pour the milk into your bread machine / mixer bowl. Cover it completely with the flour. Add the butter, salt, sugar and yeast in four separate areas on top of the flour, making little dips in the flour so they sit in it nicely.

2) The next few steps are easy if you're using a bread machine- simply put it on the dough setting and let it do the all the kneading and rising for you! If you're making this in a mixer with a kneading hook, then put your the mixer on a low setting and let it mix the dough for about 5 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. If you don't have a mixer with a kneading hook and are doing this traditionally (well done you!), then simply mix the ingredients together until they combine and the dough comes away from the walls of your bowl easily, remove to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand.

3) Once you have kneaded it and reached the desired consistency, then shape it into a smooth ball and transfer it to a greased surface (a tray, plate or bowl will do). Cover lightly with a cloth, then leave it somewhere warm until it has risen to about twice the size. Meanwhile, set your oven to 190c/ 170c fan/ 375f/ Gas Mark 5.

4) Tip out your dough onto a lightly floured surface, then gently knock it back (punch it a few times until it's a more workable consistency). Divide into 12 equal portions.

5) Now to form your rolls. You definitely can just roll them, flatten the bottom slightly, and slash across the top for simple rolls, but we wanted to have a bit more fun than that! To make a knot, take an individual piece of dough and roll it out into a thin sausage shape. When it's long enough to do so, take the two ends and... well, tie a knot! You want it to be long enough that you have a little bit to pull through, but not so long that the resulting shape is a long piece of string with a lump in the middle! To make a plait, start about 2cm from one end and make two cuts all the way through and down so that you have three legs. Next plait them in the normal way (alternating the left and right legs over the middle) until you reach the bottom and then pinch the ends together.

6) Brush your formed rolls with a splash of water, then sprinkle as generously as you like with poppy seeds. Put them on a lightly greased baking try and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.

Do as we did, and try one a few minutes out the oven with a little bit of butter, then sit back and say a very contended aaaaahhhh.

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