How to Bake Bread, with a toasted Sesame topping.
Makes 4 large bread rolls
1kg Strong White Flour
2 tsp Dried Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup of milk (for coating)
A small bag of sesame seeds for coating
Heavy baking tray (or baking stone)
Deep sided baking tray
Get all your ingredients ready in one place, It’ll be easier than trying to find them when your hands are covered in floury dough.
1. Measure out 1kg of good strong flour.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of the dried bread yeast and 1 and a half teaspoons of salt to the dry flour.
3. Slowly add the water to the dry mixture.
4. Mix the dough with the tips of your fingers, work quickly and sticking won’t be as bad.
5. Make a rough dough, then empty onto the worktop.
6. Don’t flour the work top at this point you want the dough to stick. Push the dough down on the worktop away from you, this will stretch the gluten, scoup the dough back towards you and repeat the process. Eventually the dough will stop sticking at this point knead for about 15 minutes until smooth. Make into a rough round to aid in rising evenly.
7. Flour a deep pan and place the dough in, cover with cling film and leave in a warm (but not hot) place to rise for about an hour. The dough should double in size.
8. Remove the dough from the pan and place back onto the worktop, the dough should feel much smoother and lighter.
9. Gently press the dough back down with your finger tips. Split the dough into four (the easiest way is to cut with a sharp knife) and work each piece into a small roll.
10. To coat with sesame seeds pour the milk into a shallow bowl, dip the top of your rolls into the milk and then into another shallow bowl with the sesame seeds.
11. At this point you should cover the rolls with cling film and leave for another 20 minutes, this last stage of rising is called proving. You can do this on the worktop or in a warm place as before, professional bakers use fermenting baskets or linen coated boards, as long as the gas doesn’t escape easily the worktop should be fine. Wait until the dough doubles in size again. With 10 minutes to go preheat the oven to full power (about 250°C) Preheat your baking tray at the same time, a heavy bottomed baking tray is best, or if you have one a baking stone.
12. Slash the tops of the rolls diagonally with your sharp knife before cooking, as well as making them look nice this will give the bread more surface area to rise to in the oven. You’ll notice the dough on the inside is softer as it hasn’t dried in the air.
13. Before adding to the oven get a kettle of boiling water and pour into a deep sided baking tray. As quick as you can remove the baking tray from the oven add your bread (We baked two loaves at a time in batches as our baking tray was a little small… remember that these will double in size again in the oven, make sure to give them space.) Place the tray with boiling water at the bottom of the oven to create steam (this will help the bread rise better) and place your rolls on the baking tray on the middle shelf.
15. After closing the door wait ten minutes before opening it to check on them, You want to keep the temperature as high as possible cooling at this point will stop them from rising and make your bread heavy.
16. After ten minutes check on your rolls, If they aren’t starting to go golden yet turn the oven down to 200°C, If they are starting to brown turn down to around 170°C, If they are over browning cover with foil and turn down to 150°C.
17. Bake in the oven for about 35-50 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, smaller rolls will cook quicker. A tap on the bottom of the rolls should sound hollow when they are nearly done. Give another five minutes unless over browning and then remove from the oven. Place on a cooling rack to cool before cutting, at this point they are still cooking, If you cut them now they will become heavy and doughy… don’t waste all your hard work. wait until fully cool before eating.