It smells like Christmas – me
While looking ravenously through #recipeoftheweek entries, I spotted an ingeniously simple technique for producing perfect little bread rolls – you simply cook them in a muffin tray!
And so began my work developing these gently spiced and delicately fruity soft bread rolls. I think they scream Christmas, but they’d be delicious any time of year.
The recipe started with Lorraine Pascale’s loaf as its base and morphed as we went. These rolls have semolina to add a little interest to the texture and flavour, and are sweetened with fruit syrup, avoiding any need for processed sugars. Fat, too, is kept to an absolute minimum, being used only for greasing. And I can confirm that the muffin tray technique works perfectly, producing 12 immaculately shaped and regularly sized bread rolls.
Here’s what to do…
- 12 hole muffin tray
- Cake release spray
- 1 tsp salt
- 325g strong white bread flour (I used Tesco Finest* Very Strong White Bread Flour, which is great for bread, but any strong white flour will do)
- 50g semolina
- 1 1/2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp mixed spice (I used Steenbergs Mixed Spice Organic Fairtrade Baking Spice Blend, which is predominantly nutmeg, but use what ever blend you prefer)
- 225ml warm water
- 2 tbsp fruit syrup (I used Clarks Carob Syrup)
- 75g mixed fruit
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Cling film (saran wrap)
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- Spray every hole in the muffin tray with the cake release spray
- Put the salt in the bottom of your bowl, followed by the flour and then the semolina, yeast and mixed spice.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and fruit syrup, then mix really well until it all comes together.
- I then used my Kitchen Aid to knead it vigorously for about 4 minutes, but if you are doing it by hand, it’ll take about double that.
- When you have a lovely elastic dough, knead in the mixed fruit, then shape the dough into a sausage shape and chop into 12 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a roll with a smooth top and place each into a muffin hole, then rub or brush the olive oil on to the top of each one.
- Cover with cling film, leaving a crimp in the middle so they have room to grow and leave somewhere warm for 45 minutes – they should double in size.
- Set the oven to 160C fan, then remove the cling film, brush each roll with beaten egg. bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the rolls turn a gorgeous, golden brown on top and sounding hollow when tapped underneath.
- Leave them too cool on a wire rack.
They taste amazing warm, with or without butter. Store in the bread bin to stop them going hard.
Disclosure: we were sent the flour, carob syrup and spices for review. No payment was received. All posts are 100% honest.