- 250g strong white bread flour
- 25g butter
- 1tsp easy-bake yeast
- Beaten egg, to glaze
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix together. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until completely combined.
Stir the yeast into the flour and make a well in the centre. Add 120-140ml warm water (see Warm to it, on p19) and mix to a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 8-10 mins until smooth and elastic (see How to knead, opposite). When ready, it’ll spring back easily when gently pressed.
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to prove (rise) for about 1 hourr or until it has doubled in size.
Re-knead dough for 1 min, then divide into 8. Shape into rolls (see overleaf), put on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover loosely with lightly oiled clingfilm.
Leave in a warm place to prove for 35-45 mins or until the rolls have increased in size by about a third.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the toppings, if using.
Bake for 10-15 mins. When they’re cooked, the base of the rolls will sound hollow when gently tapped. Serve them warm or cold – they’re best eaten on the same day that they were made.
Top tip: The liquid you add to the flour needs to be warm in order to activate the yeast – but if it’s too hot you’ll kill it. To get the right temperature, mix 1 part boiling water with 2 parts cold water.
How to knead: Kneading dough develops gluten in the flour, essential for giving bread its distinctive structure. Put the dough on a floured surface and stretch it out with the heel of your hand. Turn the dough, fold and repeat for 8-10 mins until you have a smooth, elastic dough.