As I write this article I am between houses living in my motorhome during the cold winter days. The picture below shows what can be achieved with limited resources in a short period of time. The wheat flakes and seeds provide a superb crunch that is full of flavour whilst the addition of some white flour gives a soft texture. I tend to freeze the rolls not eaten on the day of cooking as this retains all the freshness. I take out of the freezer only the rolls to be eaten on each day and, if I forget to take them out to thaw in time, a minute or two in a microwave will deliver rolls that feel as if they have just come out of the oven. The mixture is very adaptable and you do not have to be too strict with the quantiles providing you are close to those suggested. You can replace the flakes and seeds with your favourite ingredient, you might want to try Wheatgerm and Bran, or poppy seeds, or oats. You can also try different flours. Enjoy!
250g Organic Stoneground Wholemeal Flour
30g Organic Mailted Wheat Flakes
20g Mixed Seeds
200g Organic White Flour
15g Active Yeast
2tbs Olive Oil (or other good quality oil)
300ml warm water
You will need a flat oven tray large enough to hold eight rolls, my tray is roughly 25cm x 40cm
In a mug, mix the yeast with 1tsp sugar and 120ml of warm water, stir well and stir again after a few minutes to make sure all the yeast is disolving.
Place the rest of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a table knife or impliment of your choice. Add 250ml of the remaining water and the oil, roughly mix again, it will be very dry at this point.
Allow the yeast to froth until it starts to overflow the mug. At this point add it to the mixture in the mixing bowl and stir in with the knife. Once rougthly mixed use clean hands to continue to combine all the ingredients into a dough ball. If the mixture is too dry and will not combine with the remaining dry ingredients add a little more water until you are happy with the mix.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for about 10 mins. If the mixture is too dry add a little extra water, if too wet and sticky on the hands spread a little more flour on the surface and continue to kneed ensuring that you are gathering up the flour from the surface. After kneeding for 10 mins you should have a smooth dough ball that is easy to kneed, but no longer leaves the hands sticky.
Place the dough back into the mixing bowl (I usually sprinkle a little extra flour around the bowl so that the dough is less likely to stick). Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put to one side for an hour or two, by which time the dough should have doubled in size.
To prevent the rolls sticking to the tray when cooking, prepare a metal oven tray with a small drop of oil to cover the tray (I rub it on the tray with my finger), then sprinkle on some flour and shake the tray around until the tray is fully covered with the flour, the oil will stick it to the tray. Shake any remaining flour onto your preparation surface for the next step.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, roughtly roll out with your hands to a sausage like shape, cut in half and then cut each half into quarters. Use your hands to shape each piece into a ball, try to gauge the size of each ball and if necessary remove small pinches of dough from the larger balls to add to smaller balls to even up the sizes. Place the dough balls onto your oiled and floured tray.
Sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough balls and cover the tray with clingfilm (loosley to allow for the rising) or a dry tea towel, (often a damp tea towel is recommended to reduce drying out of the dough, but beware that it might then stick to the dough as flour and water turns to a glue like paste).
Leave the tray for 20-30 mins to allow the dough to double in size. 5-10 mins before the end of this rise turn on your oven to 220 degrees or Gas mark 6.
Once the oven is hot and the dough has risen, remove the clingfilm and place the tray in the centre of the oven. Cook for 15mins. Check that the rolls are cooked by tapping on the bottom of the rolls to make sure they sound hollow, this tells you they are cooked. If you like a crisper crust turn up the heat and cook for up to 5 more mins, but keep an eye on them to ensure they do not burn.
You can easily adjust this recipe to cook more rolls or vary the ingredients. You can also cut the dough into more or less pieces to vary the size of rolls. 500g of dry mix will give 8 standard size rolls, so add an extra 125g of dry mix to get 10 rolls. This can be made up of flour or 110g flour and 15g flakes/seeds. Add a 1/4tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of sugar, increase the water content by 70-80ml. you probably won't need to increase the yeast or oil content to go to a 10 roll mix but if you want to make a much bigger quanity increase both the yeast and oil proportionately.