Yup, those photos have been taken over three years ago :o) Yup, the rolls are still a favourite - and nope, I did not take any photos today, either. Too busy trying to sort out a changeover of course for DD - from English Language and Literature with Edexcel to English Language with AQA. We like the latter a lot better.
Anyway, dinner rolls.
750g bread flour
2 tsp salt
450 ml lukewarm milk
extra milk to glaze
seeds and/or sea salt flakes
Right. Yeast. Two kinds of dry yeast - quick acting yeast, such as Doves - the stuff you just add to your dry ingredients and let it do its magic as you mix and knead - or stuff like Allinsons, which needs to be activated first. If the latter is what you have, you will need to do that bit first - add it to your warm milk, and it will not hurt if at this point you add a tsp of sugar to it as well. Sugar feeds the yeast and makes it work better. Now wait until it froths up. All nice and frothy ? Good. You may proceed.
If, however, using the quick-acting stuff - if all you have is sachets, that is quick-acting stuff too, so just use a fukk sachet, don't worry about measuring spoonfuls out - forget about the activating bit.
Just measure out your flour into a bowl, add salt, stir through, then rub in the butter. Margarine will do in a pinch; as will oil. For proper melt-in-the-mouth softness, you do need butter though - but it's your call. Add your yeast, then add the milk and mix into a dough (or add your frothy yeasty milk, as appropriate).
Knead for 5 minutes or thereabouts, then pop back into your bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm, draught-free place.
Once it's doubled up in size - this could be in about half an hour, if your kitchen is warm enough; this time of year it may well take a wee bit longer - knock it back, knead for a bit again, then grab a knife and cut it into 12 pieces. Oh, and grease a couple of baking sheets while you're at it.
Right then. Grab one of the pieces and roll it out into a ropey looking thing of reasonable length, as below:
Hold one end still, and wind the rest around it, until you end up with something similar to this:
Repeat three times.
Next four pieces of dough - roll each into a ball, flatten slightly, slash the top with a knife. Four left.
With these four, you are once again starting with a rope - but then each rope is cut twice, so you end up with three short ropelets.
Line 'em up, all nice and neat - or if you're me, the original Cack-Handed Queen, all wonky and uneven - don't worry about it too much, it'll all go down the gullet in the end after all -
- then press the ends together, like this:
And then braid to the best of your ability. Betcha you can do it better than this ;o)
Once you reach the end, press those ends together - in fact, fold them under while you're at it - better safe than sorry.
Turn the oven on - 220 C, 200 fan - then, while the oven's warming up, glaze with cold milk and scatter over your sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, salt flakes.... Or just don't bother and stop at the glaze with milk bit.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Take out, leave to cool.
Best eaten the same day - if you are not planning to scoff the lot, open freeze as soon as cool, then bag up. Defrost a few hours before planning on eating.