GBBO Week 3: Spicy Italian Herb Mini Rolls

Bread is one of my favourite weeks on GBBO. Because what doesn’t appeal to me about freshly baked bread, straight from the oven, with a bowl of soup? It warms you from the inside out, and my childhood memories are basically of my mum baking her “herb rolls” pretty much every week. Our freezer was full of them. We had them with chicken and salad in summer, soup in winter, stews in autumn…She makes a mean Toulouse sausage casserole, my mother. And she would never fail to serve it alongside thick slices of homemade herb bread, with a thick crust and soft, pillow-y centre. For some reason I don’t remember a lot of my younger childhood, but I remember this bread. I am more than a little bit emotionally attached to bread, clearly…



Ingredients (For 12 mini rolls)

  • 3 cups wholemeal or brown bread flour
  • 1 cup water (plus extra, if the dough requires it. This should be lukewarm.)
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 1 sachet bakers yeast
  • 1/4-1/2tsp garlic granules (depending on how much you like garlic; you can also slice up about 4 cloves thinly, and add these to the mixture instead, or use garlic infused oil in place of the regular olive oil. I like to give you guys options)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (DON’T SKIP THIS. The yeast requires it as “food” so to speak)
  • 4tsp chilli flakes (Hot ones. Heap the tsp for more spice.)
  • 8tsp dried mixed Italian herbs

TIP! Don’t have time to faff about making rolls? Then simply divide the dough between two 1lb loaf tins, and follow the rest of the instructions just the same. 

Want BIGGER rolls for sandwiches? Simply shape into 6 rolls, instead of 12 (each will weigh 100g). They will take slightly longer to cook, 15-20 minutes.

Method

  • In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, herbs, salt, black and white peppers, chilli flakes, and the garlic granules, or actual garlic, as well.
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the olive oil, and the warm water.
  • Stir this into the dry ingredients until the mixture comes together. If the bread dough hasn’t completely come together, and is still very dry looking, then add in a splash more water and use you hands to work it in. This allows you to get a feel for the dough.
  • Once the dough has come together then tip it on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until soft and stretchy. Being a fairly violent cook, this is my favourite part. It’s great stress relief.
  • Place back into the bowl and lightly cover with cling film. Allow to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • Now to shape the rolls. Divide the dough into  twelve equal sized portions (each should weigh approx. 50g if you’re making twelve rolls). Roll each portion into a long cylinder, and then form a knot. Alternatively you can roll them into balls and flatten them slightly (this actually works better if you’re using them for sandwiches, but I was eating mine with ratatouille). Place all of the rolls onto a baking tray.
  • Lightly cover with cling film once more and place back into your warm place for 35 minutes, until doubled in size. This is called your “second proof”.
  • Once time is nearly up preheat the oven to 200*c, and then place your rolls in to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

TIP! Once cooked the bread should sound hollow when you tap the base.

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