Making Bread Rolls from Scratch

On Saturday I made bread rolls from scratch. I love to make bread at home when I have time, it smells great while it's cooking, tastes better than shop bought, isn't full of additives and is fun!

Let's face it - making bread rolls is adult Playdoh, as we shall see.

I like to make the bread dough in my bread maker because it's less messy, and it makes sure I leave the dough for the full proving time, I'm too impatient if I do it myself. So I bung the ingredients into the bread maker, set the 'dough' setting and amuse myself for an hour and a half (if anyone is thinking rude thoughts now you should go and have a cold shower). I don't bake the bread in the bread machine though as I don't like the shape, and I prefer to be able to adjust the oven temperature and cooking time too, and of course I like to make bread rolls as well as loaves.

The ingredients I use for basic bread rolls:
  • 1 and 1/3 cups water
  • 4 cups unbleached strong bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • a knob of butter
  • approx 1 teaspoon of easy bake dry yeast (I use some of a sachet)
I add the water first then all the dry ingredients. It would be just as easy to make in a bowl, mix it all up, knead it, leave it 30 minutes, knead it again, leave for an hour...(in my house Mr Bread Maker is doing that bit)

Then take the dough and divide it into two, divide each half again and divide each resulting piece into 3. Don't ask why, I just like 12 rolls, those keen can make 13 for a 'baker's dozen'.

And here's the playdoh bit. I make the rolls into fun shapes because I can, and because life is too short to eat boring bread. I like to knead and roll and pull the soft dough, I favour knots and plaits and mini cottage loaf styles, (DD said they looked like anuses), and I admit I was worried about the hedgehogs..

raw bread dough rolls proving
Roll and tie for the knot, and for the cottage loaf use two balls and poke a finger hard into the middle!

raw bread dough rolls proving
Cut the dough so it looks like it has three tails and plait, at one end the plait stays joined, fold the other end under

raw bread dough rolls proving hedgehogs
Use a pair of clean scissors to 'snip' in the hedgehog spines.

The rolls were cooked in the oven at gas 6 for 20 minutes. (Don't forget to tap their bottoms when they look done, they should sound hollow)

shaped bread rolls

shaped bread rolls hedgehogs

And even the hedgehogs turned out OK - you'll be pleased to know they all tasted good too.