The other day, I posted a recipe for my usual 'daily bread' - mon pain quotidien, I called it - in a moment of pretentiousness.
It's a multi-grain, nutitious bread that's only made with the best of ingredients. It freezes well and retains its softness and texture once thawed.
As they say in Sweden, kvalitetsdeg är bra deg - quality dough is good dough - and how you form it is up to you.
(Incidentally, I don't know if they actually say that in Sweden....I pinched it from a Scandi-Noir)
Back to business. Whether you call then baps or bread rolls, it doesn't matter. I always like to have a supply in the freezer ready for those times when I want a lunchtime sandwich or we're heading out for a walk or a picnic.
You can thaw them out slowly at room temperature or pop them in the microwave; they are very forgiving and their structure is retained. They're as fresh as when they were first baked.
The key with bread rolls...oh, let's call them 'baps'....is that they are uniform in size and shape.
My recipe makes eight baps per 500 gms mix. As usual, I tend to make a double batch to utilise space in the oven and this makes 16 baps at one time.
However, let's concentrate on making a batch of eight baps from a 500 gms mix.
INGREDIENTS - 75% hydration level.
500 gms of strong white flour
370 mls cool water
1 tablespoon dark moscovado sugar
2 tablespoons dried milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 oz unsalted butter
1 teaspoon instant yeast
and then add the multigrains which, as you know, are optional, but make the bread even better, more nutritious and even more special
1 tablespoon pumkin seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon brown linseed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (either white or black...or even a tablespoon of both)
If you're mixing by hand - mix the flour and the salt in a bowl, rub in the butter, add the other dry ingredients and then slowly bring it together with the wet ingredients. Mix until it forms a rough dough. Place it on a floured board and knead it for about 15 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and leave for one hour until it's doubled in size.
If you're using a machine - place the wet ingredients in the pan, add the dry ingredients and then the yeast. Choose a basic dough programme (approximately 2hrs and 20 minutes) and then go and do something useful.
At the end of the cycle or at the end of the manual first prove, assemble your equipment.
Above you'll see I have a non-stick silicone mat, a set of scales and a plastic bowl, flour, a dough cutter and a Kaiser stamp. The Kaiser stamp is not necessary, but I always vary the tops of the baps, just for interest sake. Kaiser rolls are, by definition, made from a brioche dough and then stamped on the top with a pattern, so:
Many hotels offer breakfast rolls made from a non-sweetened bread dough stamped as such and then glazed with milk (or egg wash) and sesame seeds.
Obviously, today, my Kaiser rolls are simply normal baps with the definitive mark.
So, today's rolls... Weigh the dough and then divide into eight equal portions. In this mix the dough weighed in at 1066 gms, so each dough was as near to 133 gms as I could make them. It doesn't matter if you are transferring bits of dough backwards and forwards, simply tuck the bits in under the rest of the bap's dough and then start to form them into rolls.
If you scour YouTube, you'll find plenty of bakers who have managed to master the "two handed dual bap rolling technique". I'm afraid I haven't. I tried, but as I failed in the childhood trick of patting yourself on the head with one hand while rubbing your stomach with the other, so I failed in the bap-rolling technique. Not for me, Master Po, Grasshopper just doesn't have the coordination.
So, I had to find an alternative method that would give me the same result. And, many years ago, this is what I came up with:
Stage 1- weighing the dough
Stage 2 - forming the baps
When all your baps are formed and on the baking sheet, cover with a piece of baking parchment and transfer them to a warm place (about 22 degrees C) for 35 minutes. After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 18 degrees C
At the end of the 35 minutes, the baps will have doubled in size and look this:
I've baked a double batch this morning (16 baps) - mainly not to waste space in the oven.
Eight baps will be baked just as they are.
The other eight baps will be 'topped'. Below, you'll see I've gathered egg wash (for six of them) and, for those six, two will be topped with poppy seeds, two with white sesame and two with black sesame.
The remaining two will be embossed with the Kaiser stamp. You'll see the effects lower down when they're taken from the oven.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes or until they look baked and are hollow when tapped on their bottoms.
Cool on a wire rack.
Here you see the plain baps:
and below are the 'topped baps"....
top row (l to r) white sesame (2) and black sesame (1),
middle row (l to r) poppy (1) and black sesame (1)
bottom row (l to r) poppy (1) and Kaiser stamp (2) (yes, I know...I could have lent on the stanp a bit more firmly)
When cold, they'll be bagged up and stored in the freezer. When I'm ready, I'll pull them out and let them thaw at room temperature.
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