Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wholemeal Rolls for soup on the farm

John, Shona and I had these with Pea and Ham Soup this weekend on beautiful Purukanui Farm after some gardening and cleaning the stone barn.

I got all organic ingredients from the local organic shop Taste Nature in Dunedin, who support a wide range of activities related to sustainability in the local community.


400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
225g stone milled wholemeal flour
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of golden linseeds
1 tsp salt
7g fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp honey
300ml warm water plus more
2 tbsp natural yoghurt

Extra flour or semolina or polenta for dusting.
a little milk, for brushing the tops
seeds for the tops


Mix flours, yeast, honey and most of the water. Mix well and let stand for 5 minutes.

This allows the yeast to properly activate without the controlling action of the salt, and also allows the wholemeal flour to absorb the water it needs. Different wholemeal flours will soak up varying amounts of water so you can add more if it seems to dry. Next add the salt and seeds, and any extra water and knead well for about 8 minutes till the dough is smooth.
Shape the mixture into a ball and place in an oiled container covered with a plastic bag.
Leave to rise in a warm place for a good hour, or until it has almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Cut the dough with a spatula or nicely carved wooden bread shaper into pieces the size of the rolls you want.

Shape the dough pieces into rolls by folding the edges in the sides then turning over and twisting into a tight ball, pressing the sides around, down and under to make a nice smooth top.
Place on a baking tray dusted with flour, dusting in between the rolls so that they will pull apart easily later.

Leave to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place, until when pressed lightly with a fingertip the dough springs back 80%. If it springs back 100% it is overproved and needs to go in the oven right away otherwise it will start to deflate. If it doesn't spring back much it needs more time, perhaps a cup of hot water inside the bag as well to create a warm humid environment for better yeast action.

Brush the rolls with milk, sprinkle with seeds and then place in the oven.
Pour water into the empty hot pan at the bottom to create steam, which prevents the crust from hardening too quickly, allowing more rise to the bread.

Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped underneath
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.

At this point you will want to eat it hot with loads of butter. However the bread is still cooking, and will be doughy inside. So leave it to cool, and you can warm it up in the oven when ready to eat later.

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