Delia Smith’s Quick Wholemeal Rolls

Now I’m a big fan of Delia, although I appreciate that some people are less enthusiastic. Whatever your opinion, compared with the current crop of TV cooks whether they be two hairy geordies on bikes, a simpering goddess on prozac, or a Michelin starred narcisist on EVERYbleedinTHING, Delia shines out as a beacon of understated modesty and professionalism.

Delia Smith's Quick Wholemeal Rolls

Her ‘Complete Cookery Course’ is a great reference book and her writing style is fuctional, comforting and reassuring. I have a copy of great sentimental value as it was given to me for Christmas 1989 and has a simple inscription in my Mum’s hand saying ‘Happy cooking, love mum and dad, xxx’.

Actually I don’t mind the hairy geordies on bikes.

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus up to 1½ hours proving
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Makes: 12 rolls


  • strong wholemeal flour – 225g/8oz
  • strong white flour – 225g/8oz
  • butter – 1tsp
  • brown sugar – 1tsp
  • salt – 2tsp
  • yeast – 2tsp
  • warm water – 275ml/½ pint
  • a little extra flour

Put the flours and salt into a bowl and warm slightly in a low oven. Not sure why, but who am I to question Delia?

Dilute the sugar into the warm water, add the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes until a frothy 1″ head has formed.

Remove the flour from the oven and rub in the butter. Next form a well, pour in the yeast mixture and mix until the dough leaves the side of the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes by which time you should have a smooth elastic dough.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form into ball shape rolls. Place onto a well-oiled baking tray, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and put into a bin liner. Leave until the rolls have doubled in size (45 minutes to 1½ hours depending on room temperature.

Next place in a pre-heated oven (220?/gas mark 7) for 20-25 minutes until cooked and sound hollow when tapped. I assume I don’t have to mention to take the rolls out of the bin bag and remove the cling film first.

Cool on a wire rack and eat/freeze.

Verdict: Much like Delia’s ‘Quick and Easy Wholemeal Bread’ this recipe makes quite a dense and worthy bread. Very good though.

Drink: Spicy Lentil Soup

Entertainment: Sunday papers. See ‘Spicy Lentil Soup’

Footnote by the other blogger: Yumblog is a two-hander and it’s worth mentioning that the opinions of one are not necessarily shared by the other. Delia is where a major divergence of opinion occurs. I find her to be a deeply-patronising humourless example of the worst of Middle England Daily Mail unpleasantness and I absolutely refuse to use her recipes or watch her witchy face on television.

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