Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tear-and-Share Granary Bread Rolls

In many ways, this recipe is a follow-on from my previous post as this bread is an adaptation of that basic recipe, where I have substituted some of the strong white flour for malted granary flour. Also rather than prove the bread in a basket or bake it in a tin, I have opted to form it into little bread rolls which I allow to prove side-by-side so that when they bake they join together and then have to be torn apart in order to be eaten.
The white bread recipe that I gave in my previous post could also be shaped in this manner to create white bread rolls rather than the loaf of bread that I suggested in that post. I just love the quirky variations that are possible and how adaptable bread dough is. What I particularly like about this particular bread is its communality… I like to plonk it on a bread board in the centre of the table and let everyone tear off their own bread roll! Amusingly, no-one ever seems to be the first one to launch in and rip off a roll, but once the first one has been taken it becomes a free-for-all with everyone scrambling to grab one before they are gone!
I do feel a bit of a fraud giving this recipe, because it is basically the same as that given in my previous post, but on considering whether to publish it, I decided that it was worth doing because it illustrates the many variations and possibilities that are available to you, once you have a good basic recipe to hand and gain confidence in baking your own bread.
In my opinion, this bread is all the more appealing when liberally spread with a good Irish butter!


300g strong white bread flour
200g malted brown/granary bread flour
10g salt
15g fresh yeast
300ml water
1tblsp olive oil


1. Place both flours in a large mixing bowl and add the salt, giving everything a good mix with your hands so that the salt is well distributed. Crumble in the fresh yeast and mix this through as well. Add the water and olive oil and mix with your hands to form a soft dough.
2. Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface (no need to dust it with flour) and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough feels soft and silky. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling-film. Set the bowl aside and allow the dough to prove until doubled in size which can take anything from 60-90 minutes depending on the ambient temperature of your kitchen.
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and gently punch out the air. Divide the dough into 7 small, equally sized balls/rolls (I use my electronic scales to do this, but you can do it by eye). Place one ball in the centre of a large parchment-covered baking tray which you have sprinkled with a little flour and space the remaining 6 balls evenly around the edge, spaced slightly apart so that the individual rolls have room to rise and join into each other. Allow the bread rise for a second time until it is almost doubled in size, which will take about 60 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to highest setting and place an empty roasting tin onto the floor of the oven to heat up along with the oven.
5. When the bread has proved for a second time, place the baking tray into the preheated oven. Throw some ice-cubes into the heated tray at the bottom of the oven to help the bread develop a good crust.

Makes 1 large loaf of 7 tear-and-share rolls.