The roux is basically your lifesaver. When made correctly, it will keep your bread soft and moist for days. Here are the ingredients:
Method: Mix the flour and water in a saucepan and heat at medium heat. Stir constantly until it becomes gooey. Your roux is done when you see streaks as you stir it. Remove from stove and pour it into a Pyrex bowl. Immediately cover with cling film. Make sure the film touches the surface of the roux to prevent any "skin" from forming overnight. When the roux is cooled to room temperature, store it in the fridge for one day. It has to cool in the fridge for about a day before use.
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cup water
The key ingredients to a soft roll are eggs, milk, buttermilk, and oil. Unlike conventional recipes that call for melted butter and warm milk, I use canola oil and cold milk. The oil keeps the bread soft and fluffy even after a day, and the cold milk slows down the proofing process so your bread is spongy and not filled with irregular holes and air bubbles. Bread that has big holes is usually called focaccia. Here are the ingredients:
- 1 cup cold milk
- 5 tbs buttermilk powder (you can also use milk powder)
- 5 tbs canola oil (remember, if you use olive oil, the texture will change because olive oil is acidic)
- 1 large egg
- 5 tbs sugar (you may use honey)
- 1 tsp salt (I prefer kosher, but whatever)
- 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 3 cups bread flour (it has to be bread flour; if you use all-purpose flour, make sure you add 1 tbs gluten flour for every cup of plain flour you use)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (you may use whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 of your roux
Method: Mix all the dry ingredients together and add in the wet ingredients. Stir with a spatula until a wet, messy dough forms. Now you may knead it with your Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook for 8 minutes. If you use your good'ol hands, good luck. At least you'll grow some pretty mean biceps in time. But make sure you oil the counter surface for easy kneading. I do not suggest flouring your counter. Your dough, when done, can be rather sticky. Don't you worry. It's okay. Cover your dough with cling film and let it rise until double its size. It can take up to 2 hours for some locations.
When the dough is proofed, you may roll it out and cut it into equal pieces. Form them into nice balls and place them side by side (yes, the rolls need to be literally next to each other, lightly touching on the sides) on a lined or greased baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the rolls with cling film and let rise again until double the size. This can take up to an hour.
Once done, bake for 16 minutes until the top is golden brown. It's normal to have the sides and bottoms still fairly white. Remove from oven and brush a coat of butter on the rolls, generously, and leave to cool. Once it is cool, the crust should soften and your rolls are ready to eat. Store uneaten ones in a bread bag and seal it nicely. This can be stored for up to a week (if they last that long).
Please feel free to comment on my blog and let me know how your bread turns out. I love a success story. And should you like what I post, you may follow my blog and request for more recipes.
Good luck, and bon a petit!