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French Bread Rolls

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When I first saw the post from Mels Kitchen Cafe on these beautiful French Bread Rolls, I knew that I just have to try to make them. Not just influenced by how appetizing they look but the statement that Mel made in her blog saying that this is “one of the easiest, no-fail roll recipes around”. Well, I know they are just bread rolls but they are not “just” bread rolls you see. If I have found a recipe where I can bake scrumptious bread rolls at home than buying some doughy, store-bought ones, well… have a guess.

I followed the recipe but with a slight change in the ingredients. For example, I used bakers flour instead of all-purpose flour, glucose powder instead of sugar and grapeseed oil. I would remind you to read Mel’s notes about the amount of flour use in the recipe, it is an excellent tip.

French Bread Rolls
(From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
(Makes about a dozen)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons glucose powder
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bakers flour, give or take a few tablespoons

Method

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly sticky to the touch (see Mel’s tutorial on working with yeast here).

2. Using a stand mixer, knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic (you can knead the dough by hand but it might take a bit longer). Place the dough in a large bowl that is slightly greased. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. While waiting for the dough to rise, you might want to watch Mel’s tutorial on shaping perfect rolls.

3. Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap without pinning the plastic wrap under the baking sheet. This is to allow the rolls to fully rise. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

As soon as the aroma starts to fill your kitchen, this is the moment when you just cannot wait to take the rolls out of the oven and have your first bite…though it is advisable to wait until it cools down slightly.

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It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would have been to make these rolls. Thanks to Mel, I think this could be my new found favourite. These gorgeous, golden bread rolls not just look good but taste delicious.

Do you have a favourite bread roll recipe?

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Homemade Wholemeal Bread

Do you know the feeling when you enter a house and the first thing that catches your attention is the aroma of freshly baked bread? Or sitting in the living room typing away the next post (just like what I am doing right now) and the only thing that is ‘distracting’ me, in a good way of course is the same scent coming from the bread that is sitting in the bread machine, at this very moment baking it’s way to scrumptious wholesomeness!! The bread machine was kindly given to us by my mother in law and we love it! We’ve made many types of breads and jam too (which I will share the recipe in my next post). Beep! Beep! Well that sounds like the bread machine calling me…

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Yes, this is the item in question. We shall wait “patiently” for the bread to cool down before we can have a slice.

Alison from Alison Amazed asked me if I have a favourite bread machine recipe. Well Alison, so happened that I was planning to bake one anyway. We have tried so many different recipes; through trial and error, tweaking here and there, we came to a conclusion that this is our favourite.

Homemade Wholemeal Bread
(Using Breville Ultimate Baker’s Oven Series 2)
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

350ml Warm Water
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups Bakers Flour
2 cups Wholemeal Plain Flour
3 tablespoon Gluten Flour
2 teaspoon Bread Improver
2 teaspoon Instant Yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sunflower Seeds
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds

Method

1. Add water and oil into the bread pan followed by the salt, flour, bread improver, yeast and salt. Finally, add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
2. Return the bread pan to the machine, close the lid and select your preferred setting. (The settings we used with our bread machine is whole wheat, crust control set to dark and loaf control set to 1,250g).
3. Sit back, relax and wait patiently.

The result is…

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Soft, wholesome and need I say more…

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Fruit and Nut Loaf

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As beneficial as it is to have carrot sticks for morning tea, if I am given a choice between carrots and raisin toast, I would choose the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I love carrots but I think most people would agree that a slice of warm raisin toast with butter makes a great accompaniment to your favourite cup of tea or coffee.

Just so happen that I didn’t have much planned for the day, what better to way to spend time in the kitchen making bread! We do have a bread machine but at times I enjoy kneading the bread myself. I didn’t have much raisins in the pantry but with other ingredients available I am sure I can make something else. So, Fruit and Nut loaf it is…

Fruit and Nut Loaf
(Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly)

Ingredients

2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon warm water
160 ml warm milk
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 cup plain flour, sifted (extra)
1 cup wholemeal flour (extra)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 gram butter,softened
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup dried fruit mix
1/4 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, roasted

For topping
A bit of milk for brushing
Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

1. Combine yeast, 2 teaspoon of the sugar and water in a large bowl, whisk until yeast has dissolved. Whisk in milk and the first cup of sifted plain flour. Cover and leave it to stand in a warm place about 30 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
2. Stir in egg and rind, then the extra cup of plain and wholemeal flour, salt, cinnamon and remaining sugar. Stir in butter, fruit and nuts. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Place dough into greased bowl; cover and leave it to stand in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced oven. Oil 14cm x 21cm loaf pan, line base with baking paper.
4. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead until smooth and place it into the pan. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and leave it to stand again in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the dough has risen slightly. Remove plastic wrap.
5. Brush dough with milk, sprinkle with combined sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan-forced; bake further 35 minutes. Turn baked loaf onto a wire rack to cool.

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That’s it. Toast sliced bread under a hot grill and serve it with butter or cream cheese. Also good for afternoon snack!

If you are not rushing to go anywhere, I would suggest you try this recipe. If there is any left, it keeps well in the freezer too. Just slice and wrap them in pairs before freezing.

Good luck!

What is your favourite morning or afternoon snack?

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