|Alehouse Rolls - hearty with a nutty crunch|
We didn't stay in hotels (only once, and that was as dusty as it was expensive), we preferred B&Bs, always looking for interesting old buildings. We slept in grand manor houses, rustic inns, cozy farm houses, and even a water mill from the sixteenth century.
|Old Water Mill Inn & Pub, England 1971|
We often ate in pubs, having sandwiches with cheddar and chutney, and I was delighted to try the different beers.
With all these fond memories in mind - no wonder I wanted to try master baker Dan Lepard's Alehouse Rolls. You will find it in his book "Short and Sweet", or here.
I had just bought Newcastle Brown Ale at the Bangor commissary, and thought this was very appropriate for British rolls.
The dough is made with a hot beer soaker - ale and oats are brought to a boil, with butter and honey added to the hot liquid - and the rolled oats are toasted.
It also has some whole grain flour, to make the rolls even heartier (and give health conscious bakers a better conscience!)
|Hot soaker with ale, oats, butter and hone|
As a psychotherapist this method appeals to me a lot: give the
I chose rye as whole grain flour, and had to add a little more water to achieve a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Instead of letting the dough rest for a final 30 minutes on the counter, I did what I usually do - and put it to sleep overnight in the fridge.
This cold fermentation of the dough fits much better in my schedule than doing it all on one day. Though I like baking in the morning, I don't want to get up in the wee hours, so I prepare everything the day before, and only have the shaping and baking left to do.
|Alehouse Roll dough - ready to be shaped|
Having to choose between large sandwich rolls (à 235 g a piece) or smaller dinner rolls, I opted for the more petite version - 12 rolls à 92 g.
The recipe suggests rolling the rolls first over wet kitchen paper towels and then in oat flakes. I didn't read the instructions thoroughly, and, therefore, dunked only the tops in the oat meal.
|Alehouse Rolls - ready for baking|
Whereas the giant sandwich rolls have to bake for 20 minutes at 210º C/410º F, and then some more at reduced heat, my little rolls were golden brown after 26 minutes (without reducing the heat.)
They tasted just as good as they looked, a semi-soft crust with a little crunch, and a hearty, somewhat nutty flavor.
And, since I am a stickler to etiquette, I didn't dream of pairing them with anything else but traditional Newcastle Brown Ale!
|As tasty as they look - freshly baked Alehouse Rolls.|