Friday, June 3, 2011

Braided Bread Rolls

I'm sure many of you have been wondering why I haven't been posting food stuff lately. Well, I have a very good reason! I've been busy. Working on a project. What kind of project? I'll tell ya at the end of this post. Or you can just scroll to the end but you'll miss all the cool pics.

Braided Bread Rolls. These are very easy to make, look beautiful and taste even better. Plus they'll impress the heck out of whoever you are cooking for!

First you need to make a simple bread dough. Not difficult!

4 cups baker's flour
400 ml water (just over 1 2/3 cups)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix the dry stuff. Then add the wet stuff. Mix together, then knead in a bowl or lightly floured surface till it is dough.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough and let it rise in a warm spot for an hour. Punch the dough down, knead for a minute.

Ta-da. Simple bread dough. Your bowl should now look something like this:

Separate the dough into 9 somewhat, sorta, kinda-like evenly sized pieces. Something like this:

Now roll out each piece into a strand around 16" long. You'll end up with 9 16" long strands of dough. Here's what they look like. Oh, these are the same length, it's just the perspective distortion that makes the far ones seem shorter.

Here's where you get to braid them! Do 3 at a time. Lay out 3 strands parallel to each other and start by laying an outer strand over the middle, then the other other strand over the new middle. Like this, see:
If you aren't sure on how to braid just ask your mother, wife, sister, girlfriend, daughter, gay neighbor, etc. It really is easy to do. My wife showed me how.

Don't worry about finishing the end nicely, no need to. You should now have 3 bread braids and each one should look something like this.

You'll need a baking dish. I used one that's a foot square. Worked perfect. Olive oil the bottom and sides of the dish. Now lay each braid into the dish. As you stuff them in you'll understand why you didn't need to finish off the braid. Here is what you should have.

I also drizzled a bit of olive oil along the outer edges of the bread. Put it into a COLD oven, turn heat to around 180 C or 360 F. You want the oven to be cold so that the bread rises in the dish as the oven heats up.

Bake for 40 minutes or so. Or until it looks like this.

Let it cool in the dish for a few minutes. Put a plate on top, flip over, then flip back over onto a cooling rack. Ta-Da! Done and DONE!

I made it as a pull-apart for dunking in soup, everyone loved it. You can also separate it along the two central seams and the slice up each braid for rolls.

And it looks as good as it tastes!



Now then, since you've made it this far, I'll tell you why I've been busy. I'm working on a series of cookbooks. Yes, you read that right. The bloke who has no official culinary training nor any official writing training (except for the odd research paper in kolledge) is writing a SERIES of cookbooks.

Needless to say, this project has strained my last few remaining brain cells to the point where food blogging was neglected. But no more!

Next post will be how to make a meat subsitute out of plain ole flour so stay tuned mates.


Anonymous said...

Very similar to a challah recipe I have used for ages (but not for last 4-5 years - loaf is too big for 1 person).

Just add a bit of melted butter or egg to the top of the loaves for a nice extra bit of gloss to the bread.

Book - you been sayin' that for a while. Time to put up, buster! Need help proofing, let me know. Worked in publishing for 5 yrs - sat on subway proofing everything from Clive Cussler to Jackie Collins. Course, never finished many of them - only chapters here & there.


PS - any chance to add DISQUS (yeah, at times it sucks) to sign in options??

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Anon: G'day Warpie. I'll look into adding DISQUS but I want to make sure I can have both blogger and DISQUS. Didn't even know about challeh, it looks great. I was thinking of glazing it with egg or oil, but as I was using it as soup dunkers I decided not to. Maybe next time.

Drop me an email RE the proofing, no worries. I'm hoping to have the first one or three ready by my birthday this year (become familiar with my other blog and you'll find out when me b-day is).

Anonymous said...

Oil - no! Will crisp up on top too much due to heat, and not bake evenly. Butter or egg is best.

As for Blogger/Discus - not sure about that.


Arvay said...

Looks delish!

Martha said...

Thanks Dave!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Martha: Glad you like it! Hoping to get more bready-type pics up for everyone.