Friday, March 1, 2013

Buttery Poppy Seed Rolls (Delia Smith)

Please pardon me for my ignorance but I have never heard of Delia Smith until Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out mentioned this famous UK cook to me. Oopsie!

According to Wikipedia and Google search, Delia Smith is excellent TV presenter with her basic cookery skills featuring also many of her photographs with her iconic no-nonsense looks. After browsing through Delia Smith's website and "seriously" good recipes, I reckon that having Delia Smith is awesome and I like to learn to cook and bake Delia's good and basic recipes...

Why basic? You might ask... I wish to be like Delia Smith being "serious" too with all my cooking... LOL! Just kidding. Knowing that Delia's basic recipes are her biggest strength, I hope to learn well starting from her cooking basics.

To start the ball rolling, I'm baking this nice, straight-forward basic bread roll recipe from Delia Smith. These rolls are lightly crusty on their outside and soft and buttery on their inside. Best of all, we love the liberal sprinkle of poppy seeds which makes these rolls look very pretty.

Very pretty-looking poppy seed rolls
Proving the rolls
Baking the rolls
Not just pretty... yummy too!

Here's the recipe from Delia Smith website
(with my notes and modification in blue)

about 2 tbsp poppy seeds
275ml hand-hot milk

(replaced with 40g milk powder + 275ml of warm water)
1 tsp white sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
450g strong bread flour, warmed slightly, plus a little extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
110g butter, at room temperature
1 egg beaten

(replaced with 1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp of milk)

Start by pouring 150 ml of the milk into a bowl and whisk the sugar into it with a fork, followed by the dried yeast. Leave this on one side for 10 min to froth. 

Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre, and (when it's ready) pour in the frothed yeast and milk, and the rest of the milk. Mix to form a smooth dough, then turn out on to a working surface and knead for 10 min. After that put the dough back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise until doubled in bulk (which will take 1 1/2 to 2 hrs at room temperature or 45-60 mins in a warm place). 

Then punch the dough down in the bowl to knock the air out, and then gradually work in the softened butter. The dough will now be very sticky, but ignore this and carry on until the butter is evenly worked in. 

Note: Instead of kneading by hand, I've placed all my ingredients (including butter) into my bread-maker and use "dough" setting to knead and prove the dough for 1 hr. As described, the dough will be sticky but the continuing kneading will smooth the dough.
Next, turn it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead into a round shape then divide this into 16 sections. (I divided mine into 15 sections)

Roll each piece out into a long roll, and literally tie each roll into a knot. Place each roll on the baking sheet and brush with beaten egg (I did my egg wash after proving). Now pop the baking sheet and rolls into an oiled polythene bag, and leave them to prove until puffy and risen again – about half an hour in a warm place or an hour at room temperature.  

Note: I placed all my rolls in a lightly greased 25cm x 35cm baking tin and proved them further for another 60 mins.

Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C) or 170°C fan forced. Sprinkle the rolls with the poppy seeds and bake for about 20 mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire cooling rack.

Note: I applied the egg wash just before I sprinkled the poppy seeds and baked the rolls at 170°C fan forced for 20 mins.

Happy Baking
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