Monday, June 17, 2013

Making Rolls With Fresh Yeast

(As you might already know) I like to eat toasts in the morning particularly with my own bread. I usually use the recipe and method of Mark Pittman that I saw on YouTube which calls for dried instant yeast.

During my recent stay in France I saw of lot of ready-mixed (in pack of 1 kg or 1,5kg) bread flour on the shelves of supermarkets. I agree that it must be convenient: yeast, salt and flour are all in the pack and you just have to add water!  But if you enjoy, like myself, touching, smelling and mixing ingredients yourself then you won’t buy those packs. So I opted for fresh yeast. Fresh yeast is easily available in France. You can find 42g-packs in the bakery section at supermarkets or you can ask your local baker to sell (or give) you some. 
Rolls (fresh yeast)
  • 150g white flour
  • 150g whole meal flour
  • 6g salt (6%)
  • Fresh yeast (1/4 block) ~ 12g 
  • Water -180ml <humidity at ~ 60% 
  • Note: I used 130ml as I already diluted the yeast with 50ml
  • In a small bowl stir the yeast well in 50ml warm water. Let it stand for a while until foam forms on top.
  • In a large mixing bowl add flour and make a well in the center. Pour yeast and water mixture in well. Put salt on the side (not together with the yeast) – see Note.
  • Stir with a plastic spatula until the flour has fully absorbed the water.


Note: from I learnt from the training do not put yeast close to salt. Yeast grows with sugar and warm water. Salt will “kill” the development of gluten. On the other hand if you want to retard (slow down) the rise then add cold water.

  • In large mixing bowl knead until (I don't have a stand mixer) the dough gets the right elasticity (window pane). Fold in half and in half again.
  • Cover with a plastic film and add a cloth on top (dark place is better).
  • Let stand at room temperature until it doubles in size.
  • Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Take one part and press out the air out. Then turn over the rectangle shape and roll slightly while pressing the ends inwards.
  • Roll into a sausage – don't press too hard - making sure to close the edge underneath. Repeat with the other 3 parts.
  • Let the 4 rolls rise until they double in size (~ 25-30 minutes depending on the room temperature).
  • Preheat oven at 230º C for 15 minutes.
  • Spray water on top of each bun. Sprinkle with / roll the buns in toasted sesame seeds.
  • Score the top with a sharp knife.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes (depending on the type of oven).


Although the crust was too hard and the look not so pretty my 4 small rolls did not last long!  Still a long way to go!

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