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Very Easy Crusty Bread Rolls Recipe -- no mixer, no knead, no breadmaker

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Probably the easiest homemade bread recipe ever! Basic ingredients. Little clean up -- no floured countertop, no sticky hands. And these bread rolls are super tasty! **Please also check out a spin-off video of these rolls with toppings!** http://youtu.be/Ww1N_8e3mWw Ingredients: 175g strong white flour (about 1 & ¼ cup) ¾ tsp instant yeast Little less than ½ tsp salt 2 tsp sugar 35g rolled oats (about 1/3 cup) 130ml + 10ml slightly warm water (about 9 & ½ fl oz + 2 tsp) Q: Where did this unconventional bread recipe come from? A: I developed this recipe myself (and ate a lot of bread in the process) by simplifying no-knead bread down to the very basics. Q: No kneading, no twice proofing, no shaping? How does it work? A: The key is using a rather wet dough. The high water content helps the yeast develop the gluten, so you can get away with no kneading. Proofing just once is unconventional, but I think it works very well for these rolls. They don’t have the neatest shape, so I call them "rustic" bread rolls. Q: Why not mix the dough with your hands like all TV chefs do? A: Unlike most people who bake, I don’t like getting my hands dirty... But more importantly, for a beginner baker like me, mixing by hand and kneading a wet dough like this is challenging. I panic when my fingers are glued together and subsequently add loads more flour to un-stick them. Then I end up with a dry dough and eventually some tough bread. Q: What is instant yeast? A: In the UK they’re often marketed as "Easy Bake". They’re labelled as "rapid rise" or "yeast for machines" in other countries. As far as I know, they’re very easy to obtain. Conveniently, they can be added straight to dry ingredients, so no need to premix with water. Q: What type of oats did you use in this recipe? A: I use cheap UK supermarket brand porridge oats. I know in the US there are old-fashioned oats and quick-cooking oats. My guess is that they’ll both work in this recipe. I think the quick cooking type may be more similar to what I use. Q: Can I use all-purpose (plain) flour instead of strong flour? A: Yes, but the bread will not be the same. They will not be as soft and bouncy, but if eaten fresh out of the oven, they’re not bad. Q: What was the temperature of the water? A: I don’t have a thermometer, so can’t tell you. If I stick my finger in the water, I can just feel the warmth. As long as the yeast isn’t dead, even cold water would activate them, however, yeast work much more slowly in the cold. For this recipe I want the dough to rise slowly but not dead slow, so I go with lukewarm water. Q: Where do you leave the dough to proof? A: Somewhere draft-free and not cold. In the winter when it’s chilly here in England (which is about nine months of the year), I’d turn my oven on for about 20 seconds, turn it off, then put my dough in there to proof. When the weather is warmer I just leave it somewhere out of the way, or in the oven as before but without turning it on first. Of course I take out the dough before turning on the oven to preheat. I don’t have a microwave, but I’d imagine that would make a good spot. Q: My dough has barely grown after more than an hour. What should I do? A: Try a warmer proofing spot. Like mentioned above, turn the oven on for a short burst, then turn off, and put the dough in there. If still no luck, then most likely the yeast in the dough is dead. The cause could be that it’s expired, or stored improperly, or the water you used in the dough is way too hot. If you don’t want to waste the dough in this case, you can put them back into the mixing bowl, add more flour (maybe 80-100g), knead for few minutes, let it rest for 15 minutes, and use it as a flat bread dough. To made flat breads, break off a piece of dough, roll it flat, and cook in a hot pan on the stovetop. Q: My rolls brown very quickly in the oven. They’re already quite dark after 10 minutes. What should I do? A: Every oven is different, so you’d have to adjust the temperature and baking time according to its quirks. Try turning the oven down by 20-30 degree Celsius after the first 10 minutes. Then bake at the lower temperature for another 8-10 minutes. Q: After baking for 18 minutes, my rolls still aren’t browned or crusty enough. What should I do? A: Put them back in the oven to bake for a bit longer. Every oven is different. It’s possible that your oven runs a bit under. Next time try baking at 230 degree Celsius and/or bake for 20-22 minutes. Also, it’s very important to have your oven preheated up to temperature. Q: Why must I put them on the rack to cool? A: Otherwise your rolls might get soggy bottoms. Q: Are these bread rolls suitable for vegans? A: Yes, they’re eggless and dairy-free. The recipe wasn’t developed specifically for a vegan diet, but coincidentally it is vegan friendly.

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