A delicious version of cheese and bacon (or ham) rolls where you’ll produce an entire batch for about the cost of two in the shops.
The bread renaissance is still in full flight over here and this is the pinnacle. I use grated cheddar cheese and thick strips of ham (I buy it like that from the deli, you can get the cubes if you so wish) in equal quantities and learnt quickly to pile it on top of the bread – too little and it doesn’t produce the best result. I’ve made it with the beer no knead bread and the straight no knead variety.
No knead cheese and bacon rolls
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups water (and a splash more)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry yeast
Mix it all together until a shaggy mess (don’t try and make it look pretty, just make sure it’s all combined) then cover and leave for 8 to 18 hours (I’ve left it as long as 24 and it still works a treat)
Turn it out onto a floured bench and turn it in on itself about 8 times – as in look at the dough on the bench, bring the top of the dough to the middle, the bottom up to the middle, the sides into the middle and then do it again.
Break the dough into as many rolls as you like – 8 big ones if you want to replicate those of certain bread chains, 12 if you want a more reasonable number and 18 if you want delicious 3 bite wonders.
Shape them into nice round balls and place on a baking paper lined tray and cover loosely with either a damp tea-towel or glad wrap and set aside for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 220C and mix together 220g grated cheddar cheese and shredded or cubed ham – I use this quantity over 18 rolls. I suspect you wouldn’t need so much if you’re doing big rolls
Take a big pinch of the cheese and ham mix and press it into the tops of each of the rolls. Don’t worry about fall off, that makes the yummy crunchy bits around the base of the roll. And then, once you’ve done each roll, spread any left overs as you see fit.
Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. You want some darker charred bits, golden crunchy bits and melty goodness.
Two recipes for hot cross buns, one traditional and one using a no knead bread approach. Take your pick!
My beautiful friend, fellow breeder of boys and blogger Ruth (of Gourmet Girlfriend fame) has been responsible for a renaissance of no knead bread making. Seriously, check out #ggbreadrevolution on instagram to see all the bready goodness.
Of course this is doing nothing for my current carb binging due to life stress but at least it’s homemade I guess.
Anyway, I’ve been using my fail-safe no knead bread recipe from the esteemed Joe and have been experimenting.
Because hot cross buns involve fruit and spices, which inhibit rising agents in dough, most hot cross buns are in a bread base more like a brioche using milk and butter in the dough.
I’ve given you two recipes here – a fantastic traditional one and the no knead, so knock yourselves out!
A beautiful homemade bread you can make with minimal effort. The addition of beer adds a greater depth of flavour.
my ‘go to’ non-junk food comfort food (which I’m currently trying to rebadge discomfort food but with minimal success) is bread. Not any bread, proper bread. Sourdough or something wholesome. With a dish of extra virgin olive oil, drops of balsamic vinegar, sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. I can eat that shit till my head falls off. Or my stomach so distended my arms can’t reach the bench anymore.
I have my firm favourite homemade bread which I firmly stuck to throughout the whole no knead bread fad. But the other day I had a hankering to try something new and of course it was my ‘ole mate Joke who came to the party with a recipe that hit the spot. You do need a cast iron pot with a lid but apart from that I am guessing you could go coco bananas with what sort of flour, beer and vinegar you use.
(Almost) No Knead Bread
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavoured lager
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl and then add the water, beer and vinegar
Fold the mixture together into a shaggy ball then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough 10 to 15 times – I then get a long piece of baking paper and place it in the bowl
Shape the dough into ball by pulling edges into middle and then transfer it, seam-side down, to the baking-paper lined bowl. (see below – that glorious round of dough? Just 15 turns and it is that glorious)
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours
About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place your Dutch oven (with lid) on the rack, and heat oven to 250 degrees
Lightly flour top of dough and, using a sharp knife, make a long 1cm deep slit along the top of the dough
Then, taking care not to burn the crap out of your hands, wrists, arms, carefully lift the lid off the pot, transfer the dough and baking paper (hence a long piece of paper, so you can lift it and lower it) into the pot
Put the lid back on and place in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown – about 20 to 30 minutes longer
Carefully remove bread from pot, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours*.