Cider and rye rolls

I’ve been neglecting my website and its recipes and articles for a while – but for a positive reason. I’ve been concentrating on my family over the summer months, as my twin sons have been back from their respective Universities, making the most of every single minute I can with them. We all need to take time out to reconnect and go offline.

While I’ve been enjoying focusing on my family it’s also afforded me more excuses for cooking and baking as it’s not just me and my husband to feed. So, Although I’ve not got round to adding new recipes in here over the past few weeks, I have been generating a stockpile of recipes and images. I hope to be bringing you a number of new recipes – and a few crafts and other articles – as autumn starts with its potential for mists and mellow fruitfulness (rather than just rain and grey cloudiness which is more the norm).

In order to perfect and test the dough for these rolls I’ve repeatedly made them for our lunches that we’ve taken out when hiking. I’ve mentioned this before but I do try to make each of my recipes a number of times before I add them here. They’re not just for adventurous eating though: they’re really tasty general purpose bread rolls and the dough even makes a great loaf (just bake for another 10 – 15 minutes).

As part of our time together this summer, in between all our working days, we’ve been upping the number of our walks in the nearby Dark and White Peak areas of the Peak District. Occasionally we link a hike to a pub visit but usually we take our own food, so that means an excuse for homemade bread. We like getting out as a family into the countryside and both our sons have had to get using to hiking and rambling with us as they’ve grown up. We’re pleased they’re both now as keen on it as we are (though they have got in to the specialist techy kit for wild camping and hiking more than us). We do rather look like a “Getty Images family” from the front of a hiking magazine when we go out…

Walks this summer have included Mam Tor, the Great Ridge and Cave Dale, Cromford to the Heights of Abraham and High Tor, Hathersage to Stannage Edge, Chatsworth and Birchen Edge and routes that we plan soon are Kinder Scout, Downfall and Low then Lumsdale Falls and Padley Gorge. Although many of these we’ve walked before – there are plenty of Peak District routes that give something new every time you walk them – it’s always great to add new walks to our ‘list’.

Halfway up to the Heights of Abraham path from Cromford (probably around 200ft up at this stage). This overlooks Arkwright’s Cromford Mill and the Derwent river (you can just see the Mill’s chimney and part of the Mill through the trees – a better view of the frontage is in the picture below. This is the world’s first water powered mill built in 1769).
Opposite you can see Giddy Edge – a walk that’s not for the faint hearted as it’s a proper alpine-style ‘via ferrata’ – a cliff edge walk that’s had to have iron railings to hold on to installed.

So, back to the actual bread roll recipe rather than rambling on about rambling…

Using any ancient grain will bring different textures, tastes, smells and structure (or lack of) to your bread. Many, including rye, can be quite strong and overpowering for some who are unfamiliar with anything more exotic than a white loaf with malt flakes added! For me, I think rye has a slightly warm nutty flavour with a little spiciness as an undertone. For this recipe I’ve developed, I’ve used around two thirds third of rye to one third soft wheat. This gives you enough of the taste and colour of a rye bread, provides enough soft wheat to have a good rise (though it will be significantly lower than 100% soft wheat) but is accessible. The addition of the cider gives a delicious, sweet note plus its high sugar content helps feed the yeast and encourage the rise.

Notes

  • Will make eight quarter-pounder sized rolls or you can make up to twelve smaller picnic rolls
  • Also makes a nice loaf – just bake for an additional 10-15 minutes (dependant on shape)

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dough whisk (or large fork)
  • Large baking tray
  • Scales – ideally electronic with a tare/zeroing function
  • Dough scraper or large straight bladed knife
  • Linen tea towel or cloth
  • You can use a stand mixer, but also this recipe is good by hand

Ingredients

  • 400g rye flour (I’ve used Craggs and Co, but rye flour is fairly easy to get hold of)
  • 175g strong white bread flour
  • 200ml cider – I used Aspall’s for this but any plain cider or even a perry – to provide a pear version – will do (just don’t use one of those trendy fruit flavoured ciders)
  • 200 ml tepid water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of runny honey
  • 1.5 tablespoons of good quality olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons of fine salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons of fast acting dried yeast
  • Plus a little extra white bread flour for your hands and work surface
  • Plus a little extra oil for the bowl

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together into a rough mix, using a dough whisk ideally (as it’s very sticky!) but don’t knead it yet
  • Leave to autolyse for 10 minutes to make the dough easier to work
    [the autolyse process allows three main things to happen: fluid molecules start to seep into the starch and proteins, enzymes (amylase and invertase) in the flour get a head start on breaking down gluten and also protein strands start to alter their shape – all desirable in the bread making process and gives you a head start on kneading without any effort]
  • After giving time for the autolyse process, tip the bread out and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny. This will be about 7-8 minutes by hand. You can alternatively do this in a stand mixer with a dough hook if you prefer. Try not to use much additional flour, but add a little if you find it really is too sticky to work
  • Oil the bowl lightly (many recipes tell you to use a clean oiled bowl, but I find as long as you’ve oiled it makes no difference placing the dough back in the original mixing bowl and saves on washing up!)
  • Round off the dough with your hands and/or a dough scraper and place domed-side up in the bowl. Cover with a linen tea towel
  • Leave to develop and proof for about an hour at a moderate room temperature – because of the rye’s lower gluten content it won’t rise as much as a 100% strong white bread mix
  • Tip out onto a lightly floured surface
  • Flour lightly the bottom of a large baking sheet and have this close to hand
  • Weigh your dough and divide this amount by eight (or more if you want smaller rolls)
  • Each piece of dough should be 1/8th of the dough’s weight – this will be around 125-130g each mark for eight
  • Shape each piece of dough into a ball
  • Place the eight dough balls onto the baking sheet. You can either give them a lot of space or place in two rows of four set about 3cm apart so they slightly touch when baked, giving your the ‘batch roll’ look
  • Cover again with the lined cloth and leave to proof for about 30-40 minutes
  • After 30 minutes put your oven on to 220*C fan / 240*C conventional to heat up
  • The rolls will not have grown or risen that much – most of the rise will occur in your oven
  • When the rolls are ready, place in the oven (ideally placing the baking sheet on the pre-heated baking sheet)
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190*C fan / 210* conventional and back for a further 16-18 minutes
  • The rolls should sound hollow when tapped
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack (so no softened crusts) before eating
rye and cider rolls recipe - loaf version inksugarspice #baking 3bread #rolls #cider #rye
The cider and rye dough baked into a batard shape, and scored with a leaf pattern