Before we left on our journey to L.A., I had this bread in my “to bake soon” list.  Life got impossibly busy, but I didn’t worry too much, because I knew it would be a perfect bread for the nano-kitchen: minimal kneading, and doable in our toaster oven.  Several of my virtual friends made this bread and raved about it, but that’s a no-brainer: Dan Lepard is the man behind the formula.  😉

(from Dan Lepard – The Guardian website)

75g semolina or cornmeal, plus more to finish (I used fine cornmeal)
150 ml boiling water + 200 ml warm water
25g unsalted butter
1 tsp honey (I used agave nectar)
1 Tbs yogurt
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
450 g bread flour
(olive oil for kneading)

Spoon the semolina into a mixing bowl, pour 150ml of boiling water over it, stir well and leave for 10 minutes. Use a fork to mash the butter, honey, yogurt and salt into the mixture, then slowly work in 200ml of warm water, breaking up any lumps with your fingers. Stir in the yeast and flour, work to a smooth, soft dough and leave for 10 minutes.

Give the dough three 10-second kneads on an oiled surface over 30 minutes, then leave, covered, for an hour. Roll the dough to about 25cm x 35cm on a floured surface, lay on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and leave covered for 20 minutes. Cut the dough into eight flat rectangular “rolls”  but do not separate them, just make a deep incision all the way down the baking sheet. Leave, covered, until risen by half (I cut into six rectangles, and allowed them to rise for 25 minutes).

Heat the oven to 465F.  Brush the tops of the buns with water, sprinkle with semolina and score a deep crisscross on top with a knife. Bake for about 20 minutes, until brown on top.  Let it cool for at least one hour on a rack before amazing yourself at how delicious the rolls taste.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This bread is so simple to prepare that I am still a bit shocked by how good it turned out.  If you haven’t yet been sold to the idea that minimal kneading makes excellent bread, this recipe will convince you.  I didn’t roll the dough, just stretched it lightly to preserve as much as possible the airy texture acquired in the hour long rise.

Dan made this recipe with pulled pork sandwiches in mind, and the combination would deserve to go into the Sandwich Hall of Fame.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any pulled pork at the moment, but the rolls still tasted awesome with ham, cheese and a slice of juicy tomato.

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting… the second bread from our Bewitching-Nano-Kitchen.

ONE YEAR AGO: Lavash Crackers

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