White bread rolls

What could be more patriotic and celebratory of sixty years on the throne than baking a batch of white rolls? Actually lots of things – but none of them took place here at the Socialist Republic of Yumblog.

Preparation time: 20–30 minutes plus 2–3 hours proving
Cooking time: 10–12 minutes (although you’ll probably have to bake them in batches)
Makes: we ended up with 26 (this is quite a lot, so if you are not freezing it might be better to halve the quantities)
Skill level: easy


  • strong white flour – 1.4kg
  • fast-action yeast – 30g
  • fine sea salt – 20g
  • Luuuuke warm water – 800-900ml
  • olive oil – 3–4 tbsp
  • plus polenta for dusting (optional)

Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl.

Add enough of the water to form a smooth dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Return to the bowl, lightly cover with oiled cling film and set aside somewhere warm for 45–60 minutes.

Yumblog Power Tip #764: We place our dough under an anglepoise fitted with an old fashioned, energy inefficient 100 watt bulb. This chucks out quite a lot of heat and produces a very satisfactory ‘rise’.

Once the dough has doubled in size turn out onto an oiled surface. Flatten out and pour over a tbsp of olive oil. Fold over and knead until the oil is absorbed. Repeat 2 or 3 times until it starts to get messy and the dough refuses to take up any more of the oil.

Return to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm for an hour or so until it has doubled in size.

Weigh out 80–100g pieces of the dough and shape to whatever design you fancy. I opted for the traditional round and the slightly bohemian torpedo, although you could fashion, plat or weave to your heart’s desire.

Place on oiled baking sheets. Brush/spray with water and sprinkle over some polenta – this should give you a crustier crust.

Once again, cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm for 30 minutes to an hour or so until it has doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to HOT (240C/gas mark 9).

Bake the rolls (probably in batches) for 10–12 minutes or until golden and delicious.

Verdict: Light, airy rolls with a touch of the focaccia about them. Delicious deep filled. Even more delicious toasted for breakfast.

Drink: T, K4E, H2O.

Entertainment: Anything but the Jubilee.

What happens when you put a bottle of white and a bottle of bubbly in the freezer for a quick chill … and forget about them.


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