Sunday, February 06, 2011


Here is my next attempt from my lovely Great British Book of Baking - the thyme and sun-dried tomato rolls made by one of the contestants, David. These were to go with some homemade pea and roasted garlic soup (for which, thank you very much Nigel Slater!)

As usual, my rolls look nothing like the very neat and splendid looking photo in the book, but they tasted good. And the dough rose properly and proved properly - yay! That's because I did the kneading in the food mixer... I really have a thing against kneading, but it's one of those skills which I should practise so that I can pass it down to the boys - should they ever decide they need to make bread! In a similar way, I never make pastry by hand now as it's just so easy to do it in the Magimix. Consequently I haven't done rubbing in for wait, there's a bit in my scone recipe. I must make sure that the boys have these life skills, otherwise the machines will just take over!!!

350g strong white bread flour
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet of easy-blend yeast
4 tbspn olive oil
200ml lukewarm water
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 sun-dried tomato halves, drained of oil and chopped

a large baking sheet, greased with butter

1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a large food mixer (I used our Kitchen Aid). Add the oil, and, using your hand or the dough hook attachment of the mixer on a low speed, work in enough lukewarm water to make a soft but sticky dough. Knead until smooth and pliable - about 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in the mixer. Knead in the thyme leaves and the sun-dried tomatoes, then cover the bowl with a snap-on lid or clingfilm and leave to rise until doubled in size - about an hour at room temperature.

2. Punch down the risen dough to deflate, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly for a few seconds, then divide the dough into 9 pieces. Shape each portion into a neat ball and arrange well apart on the baking tray. Cover the tray lightly with clingfilm or a clean, dry teatowel and leave to rise until doubled in size - about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile heat the oven to 190C/175C fan/375F/gas 5. Uncover the rolls and bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until a good golden brown.

4. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

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