Monday, 2 March 2015

How To Make Nigella's Soft White Dinner Rolls

I've made Nigella Lawson's Soft White Dinner Rolls from Nigella's website many times now and they are always lovely. The children adore these little rolls that are super hard to resist. They are a real treat with a bowl of hot soup or made into little sandwich rolls - perfect for packed lunches or picnics. I love these toasted with butter and jam. Yum!

  • approx. 550-600plain flour
  • teaspoons rapid rise yeast or bread machine or other instant yeast
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • tablespoon caster sugar
  • 375 ml milk
  • 25butter
+ 1 egg beaten for glaze

  1. Combing 500g / 3½ cups of the flour with the instant yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Put the 100ml of the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat until the milk is warm, and the butter is beginning to melt. Add the remaining 275ml of cold milk to bring the temperature of the liquid to 'hand hot'.
  3. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon to make a rough dough, adding more of the remaining flour if the dough is too wet. Then either using your hands or the dough hook on an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky. It's always better to have a slightly wet dough. Everything will start coming together after 5 minutes of kneading. I always try to knead dough for 10 minutes.
  4. Put the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover the top with clingfilm, then leave in a warm place to rise for an hour by which time it should be double the size. Punch the air out of the dough with your fist and then turn it out on to a floured surface.
  5. Pull pieces of dough the size of walnuts off the dough and form them into small round rolls, like ping pong balls, placing them as you go on to a greased or lined baking sheet. The balls of dough should be about 5mm / ¼ inch apart so that once they have sat to prove they will be just about touching. Nigella gets 30 balls of dough, and arranges them in six lines of five. I made slightly less, but bigger balls. I usually weigh my dough before I roll them into balls. These balls weighed 80g each. I like weighing the dough too so there's no arguing over who's having the bigger rolls!
  6. Cover them with a tea-towel and leave to rise again in a warm place for about half an hour, preheating the oven to gas mark 7/220°C/425ºF, while they sit. When the buns have puffed up, beat together the egg and a pinch of salt and paint them with the glaze. Nigella likes to scatter alternate lines of buns with sesame and poppy seeds, leaving plain rows in between. (A teaspoon of seeds should decorate two rows.) I like mine plain!
  7. Bake the buns for 15 minutes by which time they should be golden brown and joined together in a little batch. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately.
  8. These rolls are great served straight away when they have cooled slightly, and really need eating fresh, but they are lovely the next day toasted too. Whatever you do, you'll love these rolls!

Here's all the steps in pictures to help you with how the dough should look at different stages.

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