Baps. Very popular in the UK, these are what on this side of the pond we know as rolls or buns. When I was in London, I realized that breakfast baps are all the rage, you slice one of these babies, and add the usual suspects: bacon & eggs, sausage, ham & cheese, or whatever you crave early in the morning. I don’t eat breakfast, but had to try one of these classics at lunch during my visit. Soft, delicate, quite delicious. And as you can see from this post, pretty simple to make.  I modified a bit a recipe from Paul Hollywood to add a touch of whole wheat. Just because. These were the technical challenge last week in the Great British Bake Off. Some of the contestants committed the shameful sins of underbaking or underproofing, but most did pretty good. They also had to make a veggie burger pattie to go with the buns, so the challenge also involved sizing baps and filling appropriately. That is not as easy as one might think, as the patties had to be made while the dough was proofing. Great fun was had by all. Or almost all…

(adapted from Easy Online Baking Lessons)

350 g bread flour
25 g whole-wheat flour
7 g salt
7 g fast-acting yeast
30 g sugar
30 g butter
250 mL water (I used a little less)

Add all ingredients (but hold back a bit of the water, maybe 25 mL or so) to the bowl of a Kitchen Aid type mixer and knead on low-speed for about 8 minutes. If needed, add the rest of the water.

Place in a large oiled bowl and ferment at room temperature for about 90 minutes.

Punch the dough down (delicately) and divide it in 8 equal portions (about 85 g each). Roll each as a tight little bun. Place each roll on a mat lightly coated with flour and flatten it in one direction with a rolling pin, making it into an oval shape. Turn it 90 degrees and do the same. You will end up with a round, more flat type of roll.  Do the same for all other buns, then place at room temperature covered with a cloth for 30 to 45 minutes, while you heat the oven to 425 F.

Coat the buns lightly with flour, bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Even if you are not comfortable baking bread, I think this would be a very nice recipe to try. Yes, it was a technical in the GBBO, but a lot of the complexity in the show has to do with timing (pretty tight) and the preparation of the veggie burger component plus toppings as the dough rises. If you just tackle the bread and don’ worry about a timed deadline, it’s quite doable.

The bread has a tight but moist crumb, if made with white flour only will be even softer, but I like the more assertive taste that the whole-wheat offers. They freeze well, and defrost quickly, so it’s the perfect type of bread to have around.

ONE YEAR AGO: Japanese-Style Cupcakes with Cherry Blossom Icing

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Those who follow my baking adventures know that my favorite type of bread is a sourdough boule, medium to large size.  For some odd reason, when I want to bake small rolls, I always opt for recipes that use  commercial yeast, and result in a softer, more buttery bread.  That is now changed.  I used one of my favorite basic sourdough recipes to bake 6 small rolls, shaped exactly like a large one, and similarly scored.   They turned out so good, I might switch to this type of format for a while. Plus, each roll can be frozen for later, brought to room temperature for a few minutes, then placed in a very low oven (250 F) for 15 minutes or so.  Perfect bread whenever you feel like it!  😉

(adapted from Hamelman’s Bread)

for starter mixture (make 12 hours in advance)
100 g bread flour
80 g rye flour
110 g water
40 g active sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)

for the bread:
all sourdough made as above
700 g bread flour
20 g rye flour
470 g water
15 g salt

Prepare your sourdough mixture about 12 hours before making the dough.  Heat the water slightly in a microwave until it is lukewarm, and place it in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer.  Add the sourdough into the water and mix with your hands to dissolve it. Add both flours, and mix at low-speed until the ingredients form a shaggy mass.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.   Sprinkle the salt over, turn the mixer back on low-speed and knead for about 4 minutes.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rise for about 2 and a half hours, folding the dough every 50 minutes. For a more detailed explanation on folding, click here. You will do a first folding cycle at 50 minutes, another one at 1 hour and 40 minutes, then leave it undisturbed for additional 50 minutes, for a total of 2 and a half hours fermentation.

Heat your oven to 450 F. Divide the dough in 6 equal pieces.   Shape each one as a small boule.  Place over floured parchment paper on a baking sheet, flour the surface lightly and cover.  Allow the rolls to proof for 45 minutes.  Score the surface,  and bake for 25 minutes (with initial steam) or until golden brown and the internal temperature over 205 F.   Cool completely on a rack.


to print the recipe, click here

risingComments:  Depending on the method of steam you use for your oven, these rolls can be a breeze to bake.  I decided to use my usual method of inverting a damp roasting pan over the rolls, and to do that I needed to bake three rolls at a time.  Let’s say it was a bit too convoluted and the second batch was slightly over-proofed.  Next time I might just go for a less complicated method, and use a baking pan with hot water at the bottom of the oven.  Whatever method you choose, the steam provides a nicer crust.

The crumb was moist and creamy, the way we like it, and the crust reminded us of the fantastic baguettes we used to enjoy while living in Paris…  What’s not to like?   😉

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting

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One of the English expressions that puzzles me the most is “easy as pie.”  That’s because I don’t see anything easy about making the dough,  rolling it out, and mastering the finishing touches that result in a gorgeous pie.  But, I promise  that this bread is  a cinch to make, and much, much easier than pie!  It quickly comes together,  so you can wake up on a sunny Sunday morning and make this bread in time for  brunch.

(adapted from The Fresh Loaf Forum)

Makes 12 to 18 rolls, depending on size

6 to 6 1/2 cups (750 grams) bread  flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons)  instant yeast
1 tablespoon warm water
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

1-2 tablespoons seeds (poppy, sesame) or grains (cracked wheat, rolled oats)

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the warm water and yeast in a small cup and allow to proof for 5 minutes.

Pour the yeast, buttermilk, and honey into the flour mixture and mix to form a shaggy mass. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then do a 10-20 seconds kneading.  Cover the dough with plastic film, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Repeat the minimal kneading two more times, at 30 and 45 minutes, then let the dough rise for another 45 minutes undisturbed or until almost doubled in size (total bulk fermentation will be  about 90 minutes).

Divide the dough into 12 to 18 pieces. Shape each piece into a neat ball and place in a round dish or spring-form pan close together.

When all of the rolls are in the pan, cover again with plastic and set aside to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.

Uncover the rolls and brush gently with the egg wash. Sprinkle on the grain topping. I used sesame seeds.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the rolls are firm and spring back when tapped.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I didn’t have a springform pan, and my smaller round cake pan could only fit 11 of the dough balls.   So, I shaped the leftover dough as a small loaf and baked it separately.


As I munched on these soft, springy rolls I kept thinking about Thanksgiving dinner :  they are perfect for that occasion, so keep them in mind. Thanksgiving is such a busy cooking day, and this recipe is so easy  that it will be something to give thanks for.  😉

Something strange and unexpected happened to the individual loaf I baked.  I sliced it, then placed on the kitchen counter to wrap in plastic and freeze.  But,  I forgot about it for a couple of hours and when I went to search for it, it was gone!   My beloved husband was not around, and one of the dogs is too short to reach the counter, which left two possibilities:

1. I have a double-personality disorder and the “other me” has no self-control.

2. The “other dog” knows how to get the most of those long skinny legs.

I guess we know which one it was (sigh).

I am sending this to Susan’s Yeastspotting

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A Kaiser roll….

is the beginning of a great sandwich!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Back to this tasty bread…

Once more I switched from kneading the dough to folding it, and the results couldn’t have been better. For those following along the “challenge”, here’s a heads up: the recipe uses only half the amount of the pate fermentee shown on page 105. If you make the full amount, remember to only use half of it. 😉

After incorporating the pate fermentee into the flour, egg, oil, malt, and yeast, I folded the dough at 30, 60, and 90 minutes. At the 2 hour mark the dough was bubbly and airy as expected, so I cut it into 6 pieces and formed the rolls using the knot method. They rose for almost 1.5 hours (see the before and after pictures, the two photos at the bottom of this gallery).


A little egg wash helped to glue the black sesame seeds on top…


Right out of the oven, a light roll, with a nice crumb structure…


And, before I forget… that sandwich was made with ham, cheese, yellow tomatoes, and a fried egg. Absolutely delicious!

For more Kaiser Roll adventures, here are links to blogs by fellow bakers who made the rolls ahead of me, check them out!

Carolyn, from Two Skinny Jenkins
Deborah, from Italian Food Forever
Maggie, from The Other Side of Fifty
Devany, from My Hawaiian Home
Oggi, from I can do That
Joelen, from What’s Cooking, Chicago?