I love lazy days. You know, days when I don't have to do anything. Nowhere to go. No chores to get done. No one demanding my attention. Lazy days when I can just do be as inactive as I wish and take it easy. Well, I woke up to lazy day today. I woke up early enough but I decided to give myself a break from my daily gym routine. I'll make up for it tomorrow. Today, I will chill out. I decided to make bread instead. My bread of choice today were buttermilk rolls topped with poppy seeds.
The problem: apparently, my yeast was having a lazy day too. It just refused to foam or froth the way it usually does. Completely inactive. Drats. Could it have reached its expiration time already? Double drats. I decided to go ahead and use it anyway. I thought I saw a single bubble in the bowl where I mixed it with some tepid water. It should work, right? Even if it may take twice as long for my rolls to rise.
The good thing about baking bread regularly, is you lose some of the fear that is usually attached to bread baking. A year ago, I would have shelved the project and started on a cake or something. Today I figured I could wing it.
Thankfully, the yeast had some life in it yet and it only took slightly longer for the dough to rise: 90mins instead of 60 — that's not bad.
I chose to use buttermilk instead of water for my bread simply because I wanted a soft, soft bread. Why? I wanted bread which I could use to dunk in soup. Soup is my perfect lazy day meal: a bowl of hot soup and some rolls and TV. Ahhh ... sweet! Milk would have worked fine but I love the slight sourness of buttermilk.
I also added some golden syrup. Honey is sometimes used in bread for that very slight sweetness but I really am not a fan of honey and so I used the syrup instead. The quantity of syrup is only slight so you won't end up with sweet rolls; you get dinner-type rolls with a beguiling sweet flavour that's barely detectable.
For the sheen and golden tops, I brushed the top surface of the rolls with egg wash. And, I added some poppy seed for some crunch. I would have added some oats as well ... but I ran out. And, speaking of running out, I usually used white bread flour for these rolls but I didn't have enough white bread flour so I mixed it with some whole wheat flour (2 cups white to 1 cup whole wheat). The rolls were slightly more chewy but still really soft.
Buttermilk Bread Rolls
31/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
11/4 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp tepid water
1 cup buttermilk (or mix 1 cup milk and 1/2 tsp white vinegar and let it sit for 5 mins)
1 tbsp golden syrup/honey
1 egg, beaten + 1 tbsp water
|Perfect for dunking in my Mushroom and Chilli Soup.|
Whisk together the flour and salt. Add the yeast to the flour and then the honey and mix together. Add the buttermilk and bring the dough together. Knead for about 10 mins or until smooth and elastic.
Cover and let it rise until it doubles in size: between 60-90 mins.
Grease the bottom of a round or square 9-inch baking pan with olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
When the dough has doubled, gently punch it down with your fingers and then divide equally (you can measure or estimate) into 9 portions. Roll into tight balls and place next to each other (maybe leaving a 2mm space in between) in the baking pan. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle seeds (or any topping you prefer).
Cover and let the rolls rise, about 20-30 mins.
Bake for 15-17 mins.