Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Spelt and Honey Bread Rolls - includes Thermomix Method

From flour to rolls in just under an hour - seeds are optional, but add to the delicious, nutty flavour.

Although these are made with honey, don't worry, they're not sweet. The honey is just there in place of sugar, to feed the yeast, and can be substituted for other things if you would rather not use honey (see ingredients). However, if you should want the honey taste to be more prevalent, simply add more to taste!

Spelt and honey rolls

The facts: Spelt is an ancient, hybrid species of wheat (also known as dinkel wheat and hulled wheat). It's higher in nutrients such as vitamin B1, B2 and iron than regular wheat and it's pretty versatile, as it's great for making really tasty, soft and light bread, as well as being suitable to make pasta with. It *does* contain gluten, however, therefore it is not suitable for people with coeliac disease, but some people who have minor difficulty digesting normal wheat, may find spelt easier to digest.

Biology lesson over! (Well, the important bit was to make sure there was no confusion over spelt containing gluten). Now onto how to turn it into tasty rolls, with a lightly crusty top, and a deliciously nutty and moist, soft centre - in under an hour! I always used to find making any kind of bread/s quite daunting, so there are plenty of photos in the method to refer to, so you know you're on the right lines!

Makes 8 medium to large sized rolls (one is enough for lunch!), or you could divide it into more smaller rolls if you prefer.

Approximately 230ml lukewarm water (see method)
1 medium egg (optional, see method)
1 sachet / 7g / 2 level tsp dry yeast (comes in granular form, e.g. Easybake)
1/4 tsp pure vitamin C powder / ascorbic acid (optional, increases the rise slightly)
1 x 15ml tbsp honey (or rapadura, or you could use 2 tsp golden caster sugar)
500g spelt flour (I use wholemeal organic - Dove's Farm brand if you want to know - you could also use white spelt flour which will give you a lighter result)
20g butter (softened), or 20ml your oil of choice (e.g. olive, coconut) - you will also need a little oil to oil a bowl for the dough to rise in
1 scant tsp salt (e.g. fine sea salt)

20g small seeds (e.g. linseeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc. - I like to use a tablespoon of two different kinds, which comes out at about 10g each)
30g pumpkin seeds (around 3 tbsp)

You can do this by hand, or you can mix and knead it with a dough hook attachment in whatever gadget you may have available, if you're lucky enough to have one! (Thermomix instructions are in italics for the mixing and kneading steps, everything else is the same). Also, there's no need to pre-heat the oven - they go in cold, and do their second proving in the oven.

First of all you need to make up 280ml of liquid using the egg (if you don't want to use an egg, just use 280ml of lukewarm water; the egg makes the rolls softer), and the appropriate amount of lukewarm water. It's easiest to do this by getting a jug of about 250ml of lukewarm water ready first, pouring off about 50ml into another container, adding your egg, then topping it back up to 280ml. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold to start with, by testing it with a clean finger - it should feel not too much different to your body temperature.(Thermomix, get the lukewarm water ready in a jug, set the TM to weigh, add the egg, then make up the weight to 280g with lukewarm water).

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl (or Thermomix) in the order that they're listed and mix together (TM Speed 3.5 / 10 seconds). I like to leave the water, yeast and honey for a minute before I add the rest, to let the yeast get started.

Then you need to turn out the mix onto a floured surface, and knead for around 10 minutes until it is stretchy, or put into your kneading machine of choice (TM turn to Closed Lid position, set timer for 3 minutes, and press the Knead Dough button (looks like a head of wheat) - and make sure it doesn't go for a walk while it's kneading!).

Before proving, after kneading
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (you may find this easier with lightly oiled hands), cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise until doubled in size (no longer is necessary, spelt flour is not like wheat flour). 

After proving for 30 minutes
 I put mine in the combination oven at 40C for 30 minutes, which is perfect for proving dough; an airing cupboard, or any warm place should do just fine. [Update - for a no-fail rise, fill a large pan, or casserole dish with 1-1.5 litres of just boiled water, and put it on the bottom of the oven. Put the bowl (or you could divide the bread into rolls at this point if you prefer, and put them on the tray lined with greaseproof paper) on a shelf in the oven, at least 4 inches above the pan.] (TM tip: If you have a thermoserver, you can half fill it with boiling water and place the bread over it, if it's a cold day!).

There is no need to knock back the spelt dough in this recipe, simply tip it out gently onto a floured board. If you want floury rolls, then sift some flour onto the top, which will also help stop it from sticking when you slice it into portions and shape it. (Alternatively, you could brush them with water or milk after shaping, and sprinkle with extra seeds).

Take a long, sharp knife (a carving knife is perfect for this) and gently cut the dough into half, then quarters, then eighths (without sawing, just gently press down until you've cut through).

At this point, you could happily put them onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof baking paper (spacing them out a little), and bake them into interesting triangular-shaped bread rolls, which I think would look rather prettyful. That's if certain people in your household haven't got a thing about home-made burgers (I might make them triangular-shaped from now on...?). Or you can form them into more of a generic roll shape, by cupping the triangular roll in your hands on the board, gently squeezing the 'sharp' corner in, then spinning them around on the board between your hands until they're more of a round shape.

Once they are the shape you desire (which doesn't have to be round, of course), place them onto a large baking tray lined with greaseproof baking paper (or you could just dredge it with a dusting of flour if you like), then place into the middle of a cold oven. 

Turn the oven on to gas mark 5 / 190C / 170C fan oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until the rolls have risen and cooked, and the tops are lightly browned and crusty, and they sound hollow if you tap on the bottom of the roll. 

Remove to a wire rack to cool, covering with a clean tea towel as they cool.

And once they've cooled (or you can wait no longer), enjoy. Or take them with you to a dinner party, and tell everyone how you made them yourself. Delicious slathered with butter, especially if you've made that yourself too...

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