Monday, October 31, 2011

Seedy rolls

Another influence of the Great British Bake Off on me here. One of the challenges is always to create a set of things - they might be iced buns, cupcakes or mini-pies - and one of the objectives is to get uniformity: they should all look the same. Some people are naturally good at this. I'm not, and therefore I think they are dull automatons, while I am a free spirit. Your rules can't bind me, man.

But it's something I ought to try, and as bread's my forte, baking a tray of rolls seems the best way to look for my inner zombie.

I've used a seedy mix, as follows:

250 g strong white flour
50 g whole rye
100 g strong wholemeal
10 g red malt flour
5 g salt

20 g poppy seeds
20 g sunflower seeds
30 g pumpkin seeds
20 g sesame seeds

with 300 g water and 5 g dried yeast. A fairly quick rising - pre-toasting the seeds made the mix quite nicely warm.

So I had about 700 g of dough and decided to use around 100 g for each roll. Yes, reader, I weighed each roll to a tolerance of plus or minus 10 g. At first I thought I'd do knot rolls, but then decided to do spirals. Uncooked they look, let's say, unfortunate. So I egg-washed them and added more poppy seeds. Oh, and I took two of the lumps and made a three-strand plait. I'm so wild and crazy.
Here's the result. Eggwash always makes bread look better, doesn't it? But look at the two rolls at the front. One spirals this way; the other that. It's left-handed. (Left handed-ness in bread rolls is clearly a recessive gene; of the four spiral rolls, only one expresses it.) I didn't even think of this when I was rolling. And I can't say it's free-spiritedness; it's just that I revert to universals too quickly: a spiral is a spiral. Will I ever have an eye for detail?

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