Thursday, May 12, 2005

Warm Bread Rolls

These bread rolls didn't actually taste as good as they look in the picture. I have baked bread on a few ocassions in the past to great success, my favourite recipe being tomato and onion bread. Now let me tell you that there is absolutely NOTHING like the smell of warm bread wafting out of your oven. My first experience of this was in England, when i had stayed a week with an English friend who lived in the countryside. She had a beautiful home with rabbits in her backyard, ponies that she would feed with fresh carrots at the field nearby and a bright kitchen with big windows that allowed the morning sunlight to stream in. She also had a lovely mother who baked bread. I remember the strong smell of warm freshly made bread wafting around in seductive circles in her kitchen (it was near midnight! i wonder if most 'bakers' have a craving to 'create' in the wee hours of the morning?!) My friend and i sat on kitchen stools watching in anticipation as her mother pulled the proud loaf of bread out of her big oven, cut them into thick slices and allowed us to slather an obscenely generous slab of salted butter on them. We oohed and aahed as the butter melted into the warm slice, and oh - the joy of that experience. I have never forgotten that - and that experience has never been replicated since. Except now in my kitchen!

I was experimenting with a new recipe downloaded from the net, inspired into action by a dinner i'm making for a party of eight on Saturday night. The pressure was on to produce a perfect loaf of bread. This recipe was quite frankly a disaster. It instructed me to heat the oil, milk and water in a pan until the temperature was at 160 degrees farhenheit. Silly me trusted they knew what they were talking about, but having searched the net since, it seems that yeast will not survive beyond 115 degrees farhenheit. So effectively, i killed off the yeast by pouring in this almost boiling mixture, and as a result, did not get the dough to rise, or double in size. It sat there, a nice elastic blob (dough hook used for the first time with my kitchenaid!) refusing to grow or develope air bubbles (punching down the dough was a futile exercise).

Nevertheless -that lovely sweet bready smell came wafting out of my oven, and taking that first bite of 'near hot' bread with butter was still a little piece of heaven. But the texture of the dough was stodgy and heavy - not ideal at all.

more bread rolls to be made then! these are not the end of my midnight projects.


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