My family and I went for a day out to Chester Zoo a while ago and decided that we would all bring a contribution to a picnic, which we all shared. Amongst other things, I brought along these bread rolls, which I thought would be a more interesting alternative to sandwiches.
They were really tasty and easy to transport. I baked them the day before and they still tasted nice and fresh. It would be really nice to vary the fillings in this – I quite fancy making some kind of pesto and sun dried tomato roll, which would be a great accompaniment to tomato soup.
For the filling10 rashers unsmoked bacon, rind removed
100g button mushrooms, diced
75g cheddar cheese, grated
Tip flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, beaten eggs and three quarters of the water and stir with your fingers. Continue to add the remaining water a little at a time, until all the flour is picked from the side of the bowl. You may not need all the water. The dough should be soft, not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the insides of the bowl and stop when it has come together as a dough.
Coat the work surface with a little olive oil and tip out the dough. Knead for 5-10 mins. The dough should have a smooth, soft skin and no longer be wet.
Put into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until it has doubled in size - from 1 hour to 3 hours at most.
For the filling, fry the bacon gently on each side until tender. Remove and set aside to cool.
Line two trays with baking parchment. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and without knocking it back, roll out to a rectangle approx 35cm x 30cm. With one long side towards you, spread a thin layer of the passata over the dough and lay the bacon and mushrooms on top. Add a thin layer of grated cheddar.
Roll up the dough like a swiss roll and press the seal to join. Cut into 15 pieces. Lay the rolls flat side down on the prepared baking trays, so they are close together (see picture above before the oven).
Put each tray into a clean plastic bag (I used supermarket shopping bags) and leave to prove for 30 mins. Meanwhile heat the oven to 220c.
Beat another egg, brush over the dough and bake for 15-20 mins until golden and cooked through. Can be eaten hot or cold.