Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spur of the moment

This was my weekend off.  I worked the last two Saturdays, and will work the next two.  (Sometimes the schedule just works out that way, with lots of vacations this time of year.)  I had lots of plans for stuff to make this weekend.  I've done almost none of them.  Yesterday, the girls and I went to the farmers market (only came home with tomatoes; very sad that my usual cheese guys wasn't there this week), Build-a-Bear (finally spending B's birthday present from Aunt Kate), and story time at Borders.  This morning, we went to the pool with some friends, stopped to pick up some lunch to bring home, and all took naps.  I did squeeze in some baking this morning, and still hope to this evening, but things didn't really go according to plan.  

What's funny is that last weekend, I made all sorts of stuff in a much smaller window of time.  Sometimes it just happens that way.  Some of the things I had made before, like the scones we ate for breakfast on Sunday.  And then I couldn't resist making the plum cake again, with peaches.  For the record, the plum version is better. =)  But one of the recipes I made was a brand-new one.  One of the things that pops up in my Google Reader every weekend is Dan Lepard's baking article in The Guardian.  There are all sorts of yummy looking recipes, but the ones that really catch my eye (and the ones that I've actually made) are the bread recipes.  

The recipe for July 17th was Semolina BBQ Buns.  Right away, I was drawn in by the semolina part.  I love breads with semolina (I often add it to pizza crust, too).  I took a quick look at the ingredient list and was happy to see that I had everything on hand to make them--semolina, butter, honey, yogurt, salt, yeast, and bread flour (what I usually use when UK recipes call for "strong flour"), plus water and a bit of oil for kneading.  This recipe employs one of my favorite techniques, which I originally learned from another Dan Lepard recipe.  Once the dough is all mixed together, you knead it on an oiled surface for about 10 seconds every ten minutes for about half an hour.  Each brief knead develops the gluten a bit more, until you have a fairly smooth dough.  Then you let the dough rise for a longer period (an hour, for this recipe).  For these buns, you then roll the dough out into a large rectangle and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet.  The dough is cut into 8 rolls (I used my metal dough scraper to cut through the dough) that are left in place.  The dough is covered and allowed to rise a bit more.  Before baking, the dough is brushed with water, sprinkled with more semolina, and lightly scored with a butter knife (for decoration).

The verdict?  Dan suggests in the article that these are perfect buns for barbecued pork.  I'm not a big barbecue person, but I have to say, they're great with chicken salad.  Or for most other sandwiches--including jam, according to Gillian. =)  They're also quite good eaten plain, with some salted butter.  Or toasted.  So yes, I'm telling you that these didn't last all that long around here.  I ate the last one for breakfast this morning, and they only made it that long because I froze most of them.  I really love the bit of crunch in the crust from the semolina sprinkled on top.  I generally prefer rolls over sliced bread for sandwiches, since they have a higher ratio of crust, and these are perfect in that respect.  

If you'd like to give these a try for yourself, you can find the recipe here.  And be sure to check out the other recipes on that site.  (The Buttermilk Baps are another favorite of mine.)  And these rolls are also being Yeastspotted!


  1. Wow Di, those are really beautiful and I love the color and apparent crusty texture of the top. Oh my gosh, if I lived near you....??? Well, the hot bread from your kitchen is amazing. I admire that you had fun times with the girls as opposed to your baking list. You're an awesome Mom.

  2. You bread bakers..... :) How I envy you! Looks absolutely wonderful. The time and patience that goes into breadmaking - very impressive. Thought I love making cinnamon raisin swirl bread now (time to try others)! Funny, I made scones too last Friday for work (seems people either love them or "don't like" them)! Great post!

  3. I am so glad to be back over here! I've missed your blog like crazy. I'll be playing catch-up over the next day or two and I can't wait to see what else you've been up to :).

    My to-do list is always so ambitious for the weekend. Often, I just don't get to much of it so I definitely know where you're coming from. These rolls look so so good! I have BBQ sliders on the menu later this week and these rolls would be perfect. I don't have semolina though so I'll either have to pick some up or figure out a sub. Any sub ideas?

  4. Not a fan of the semolina in bread, but these look wonderful. Maybe they are the way to change my mind about semolina in bread! Sounds like a great time was had by all over there.

  5. This is the third post I've read tonight about these rolls . . . guess that means I must bake them as soon as we get home from vacation! Yours look beautiful . . . I could totally go for that chicken salad sandwich right now! =)

  6. They look beautiful and so controlled! Mine were quite hilly and valley like! Gorgeous buns Di :)

  7. These look incredibly delicious. Golden on the outside and soft on the inside. YUM!