Our meal tonight was Chicken & Bacon Salad. This is one of my favourite meals and is best with ciabata bread. So, in line with the ongoing proposal, today was the day to make ciabata for the first time. All well and good until I looked at the recipes. All the recipes I could find included the phrase “leave overnight in the fridge”. As it was by now midday and the meal was intended for 7.00pm, this would not be possible. So I had to find another recipe.
After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I ended up with the following recipe for Fennel Rolls:
- 450gms white bread flour;
- 10gms salt;
- 2.5gms crushed fennel seeds;
- 275ml lukewarm water;
- 25gms melted butter;
- 15gms caster sugar.
Making the bread followed the usual sort of process:
Sift the flour and salt together and add the crushed fennel seeds;
- Mix the yeast into the water and then pour it and the butter into the flour and mix some flour in to make a runny batter;
- Cover the batter with a bit of extra flour and then stand it in a warm place until it bubbles (in our case about 30 minutes);
- Mix the flour to make a dough and then knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface;
- Put the dough in a covered oiled bowl somewhere warm to double in size (about an hour whilst we went out and did the shopping – multitasking!);
- Take the risen dough out of the bowl and knock it back;
- Cut the dough into eight evenly sized pieces and roll them into balls and put on a greased baking tray;
- Leave somewhere warm to double in size again. This time this took two hours rather than the 30-40 minutes I was expecting;
- Put the risen balls into a pre-heated fan oven at 200C for five minutes then turn down to 170C to cook for a further 10 minutes;
- Check they’re done in the usual way.
Our kitchen seems to be quite cool so the rising times are quite long.
Our oven seems to cook hot so you might want to raise the temperatures in your oven by 10C or so. In order not to overbake the rolls, I opened the oven door between the two periods of baking to cool the oven.
The result as you can see was eight nicely baked rolls, with a gentle flavour of fennel which went well with the salad.