Thursday, 6 October 2011

Fast and Furious Dinner Rolls

I love freshly baked bread with supper, it somehow seems to make a fairly basic meal of soup or pasta feel like so much more of a 'dinner event'.  Rolls are always a great option for me, easily portion-controlled and saveable for the next day (if 'saveable' is indeed a real word, which I somehow doubt).  For the longest time, I've been making the Quick Mixer Rolls that I've written about before but in recent months I've moved on to these babies; a slightly smaller batch of dough and easily adapted to suit different meals perfectly.  Sometimes we have these as very basic round rolls, but these 'knots' are extremely easy and very popular.  I have had some, limited, success cutting the dough thinly and plaiting the strands, but it was way too much like actual effort for my liking.  The knots are ridiculously simple and give the false impression of hours spent tending dough.  It's our little secret, dear reader...

.I generally just brush the unbaked rolls with melted butter before they go in the oven (as below), but there are numerous ways to tart them up to better match your meal.  One of our favourites is cheese, herb and garlic rolls to go with tomato-based pasta dishes.  Simply sprinkle the butter-brushed rolls with a mixture of garlic salt, mixed dried herbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  You can also scatter over either, or a mixture of, poppy seeds and sesame seeds, or make a naughty 'weekend breakfast' version by mixing a tsp of cinnamon with 2 tsp of sugar and sprinkling this over.  Gorgeous with freshly brewed hot coffee!

Fast & Furious Dinner Rolls

I must confess that the thing that makes these fastest is that I do the kneading in the KitchenAid.  They work well in the processor too, or even by hand, they just won't be quite as immediate.  More like 'national  speed limit rolls' rather than '100mph instant ban rolls', I suppose!

300g strong white bread flour
100g granary flour (or use all white)
1 tbsp easy-blend dried yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
300-350ml warm water
melted butter, for brushing

Mix the dry ingredients together and then add as much water as you need to form a softish dough.  Knead for 3 minutes in a mixer or by hand until smooth, silky and springy.  Set aside in a covered bowl for 10 minutes.  Cut into eight, roll each piece into a thin sausage shape and tie loosely in a knot.  Place on floured baking sheets and cover.  Leave to rise for 30 minutes, brush with melted butter (adding any flavourings you like, and see above) and bake at 180°c for 15-20 minutes until the bottom of the rolls sound hollow when tapped and the crust is nicely burnished brown.
Cath xx

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