Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Good Morning, Good Morning to you! Scottish Morning Rolls

Welcome to part three of my series of recipes from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitely. If you haven't seen the other insallments, then look here, and here for Wholemeal Bread and Milk bread, which introduce you to my somewhat wittery prose, and also two different ways of making bread. This post looks at using a sponge and dough method.

Well I have to say I could get used to not working, it's only day four, and I've been so busy. Naturally I've injured myself, but that aside, I've been swimming each day, run errands, done lots of walking and have got myself closer to up to date on life, the universe and everything. It's surprising how much there is to do and being poorly has naturally got in the way of late.

Anyway, as Monday dawned, bright and beautiful, I was already ahead of the game, the sponge for my Scottish morning rolls was merrily doing it's thing on the window ledge. I'd made it Sunday afternoon, in pretty much minutes, covered it with a carrier bag, and left it be until the morning. Like sourdough, a sponge appeals to me because a lot of the work is done by the dponge itself, my intervention is practically nil. Not that I'm completely lazy or anything. Well not much.

Anyway, Andrew says in the book that this recipe can be applied to all kinds of bread - and I think I'll try it with a loaf next week sometime. What you'll notice, in comparison to both the wholemeal and milk breads is the reduction in the amount of yeast and the extension of the initial prove. This for me is brilliant, and for people like myself who avoid eating bread because of that bloated feeling commercial bread can give you, this doesn't. At all (for me, anyway) because the yeast has fed upon the sugar available. The recipe makes a dozen rolls (although if you made slightly more even sized ones than I did you could easily get a baker's dozen)

The overnight sponge

1tsp fresh yeast
130ml tepid water
50g stoneground strong wholemeal flour
100g strong white flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water, and add it to the flours
Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined (I do this with my hands) You don't need to knead the sponge, since the gluten develops over time.
Put this into a big mixing bowl
Cover with a lid or poythene bag, and leave at room temperature for 12-18 hours. As it was so hot last weekend, I left it on the window ledge so that it was slightly cooler.

Off to bed for me, only to wake up in the morning (very geekily) super excited about my sponge and dough. Yes I know I need to get a life. What can I say!

The final dough

Overnight sponge
350g Strong white flour
100g Stoneground strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
270g water
1 tablespoon olive oil

So Andrew says (I'm calling him Andrew now, I figure three recipes and repeated bedtime reading, we're past Mr Whitely these days) to have a good sniff of the "fruity, beery, slightly vinegary aroma" Don't do this too early in the morning. Certainly not before your first cup of tea. The reason it's collapsed down (that's what's supposed to happen) is because the yeast has run out of food, and the gluten collapses because the enzymes have stretched it beyond where it wants to be during fermentation. The enzymes working like this, so slowly really soften the gluten.

Mix the ingredients together into a soft dough
Knead until it is silky and slightly stretchy - I needed to flour my worktop more than usual as this was a sticky dough for me. I expect the heat didn't help.
Leave to rise for 1 hour - this gives the yeast an opportunity to use the fermentable sugar in the new flours.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (if I could find my baker's friend, this would be ideal, but it seems to have got lost in the move so I used a sharp knife. Something tells me that tearing at the dough would knock too much of the air out of it).
Mould each one by rolling it on the work top. I rolled them into a round between my (floured) hands much as you would playdough. Then dip it into a bowl of flour - I used the malted flour I haven't used since the first wholemeal loaf.
Place the rolls about 2cm apart on a lined baking tray. Give each roll space to rise.
Cover the tray with a loose polythene bag, I left them to rise until doubled - this took about an hour in my very warm flat. You know they are ready when they are touching their neighbours.
Bake in a hot oven - 230 degrees - for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 210 degrees and finish off. Mine took about 20 minutes.
To check, tear one bap away from the others, and check it's top and bottom crust. I know Andrew says not to, but I tap the bottom and if it sounds hollow then that to me says it's done.

These have been great. Kept in the breadbin, they've lasted beautifully over the week. Mark has had them for lunch each day, and I had them yesterday, somewhat overfilled with pulled ham from the hock mixed in a mustardy mayonaisse. A slightly sweet, malty roll that's soft but not pappy, and has a tasty but not mouth killing crust. Definitely a winner.

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