While we’re all dying in the crazy heat in Mumbai, I think I might have stumbled upon a silver lining to this crazy situation… bread making! Any kind of yeasted dough rises like a dream in this hot and humid weather, making this the ideal weather to bake homemade breads.
I usually cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it in my balcony or window to rise, as opposed to leaving it in my oven like I’d suggested in this recipe. The result? Double the volume in less than an hour! And really, all the gloating you hear about homemade breads is 100% true… they give your house a homely aroma and are unparalleled in texture and flavour. And of course, the ultimate comfort food! I’ve been making pizzas almost every week, using this recipe for homemade pizza dough, and these classic bread rolls, filled with pesto sauce, come a close second.
Instant dry yeast or rapid rise yeast is what I like to work with, mostly because I find the active dry yeast that is available in most stores in India, highly unreliable. I bought some Gloripan Yeast online, and now store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Trust me, this works like a charm! Be sure to use a clean and dry spoon when you scoop out the yeast from the jar. Usually, you would add fresh or active dry yeast to warm milk and sugar to make it ‘bloom’, while you would add the instant yeast to the dry ingredients. Here, we’re going to add the instant dry yeast to the warm milk and stir it in till it dissolves. No sugar, that’ll go with the flour and the salt.
The dry ingredients get whisked together, make a well in the centre, and add the olive oil and milk with dissolved yeast. Stir everything together, and…
… knead! We’re looking for a smooth, soft and springy dough and it should take just a couple of minutes to do this with the dough hook attachment of the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer on medium speed.
Briefly turn the dough out of the bowl of the stand mixer and brush the inside of the bowl lightly with some olive oil and pop the dough back in the bowl, coating it with the oil in the bowl. This is my little trick for saving up on washing one extra bowl!
The dough needs to be rolled into a rectangle that’s a quarter-of-an-inch thick. I’ve used this recipe for Pesto sauce, but I’m thinking that any sort of homemade chutney would go well too. In what could possibly qualify as my nerdiest moment on the blog, I’ve also drawn out on ‘Paint’, no less (is there a Mac equivalent of this?), the direction in which you need to roll the dough into a coil shape.
Slice them up and line them up for a second rise. Brush with milk and off to bake!
And we’re ready to dig in. They’re best had slightly warm and don’t restrict them to dinner time, they’re pretty great with a cup of coffee too!