Prep 30min (+ 1hr 30min proving time)Bake 25-30minMakes 16
There is nothing quite like a really good, simple white bread roll. These ones have a lovely soft crumb and a thin crust, perfect (as their name suggests) for dinner or as the Italians do, for breakfast with lashings of butter and jam or cheese.
500g (3⅓ cups) strong bread or pizza flour, plus extra to dust
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
375ml (1½ cups) lukewarm water
40g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra to grease
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon milk, to glaze
Sesame and/or poppy seeds, to sprinkle
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the water and butter, then add to the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic and springs back when you push your finger into it.
Brush a large bowl with melted butter to grease. Add the dough turning it to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Knock back the dough by punching it in the centre with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball by rolling it on the bench and place on the lined trays leaving about 5cm between each. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel and set aside in a warm draught-free place for 30 minutes or until well risen.
Brush the rolls with the egg wash to glaze, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and then bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until golden and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Oval Rolls: In Step 5, roll each portion of dough into an oval shape about 7cm long. Use a small sharp knife to cut a slit, about 1cm deep, along the length of the roll, starting and finishing about 1cm from each end, then continue with the recipe.
- Knot rolls: In Step 5, roll each portion of dough into a sausage shape about 30cm long. Tie into a loose knot and continue with the recipe.
- These rolls are best eaten the day they are made however they do freeze well – seal in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature.