Economics, generational conflict, pop music & TV. You can’t accuse me of not being eclectic. So here is my contribution to baking, the new rock’n’roll. It’s a recipe for eight brown rolls taken from a pack of Allinson’s Seed and Grain White Strong Flour, and it works.
500g Allinson Seed & Grain Flour
7g Easy Bake Yeast (i.e. 1.5 teaspoons)
300ml Pale Ale or Stout
15ml Sunflower oil
I tbsp treacle
I tsp salt.
Here’s what you do.
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the sunflower oil and then the yeast (important to add the yeast before the liquid – but not disastrous)
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, add the beer and treacle and mix together until it makes a soft dough. Slowly add small amounts of extra flour or water if you think it’s becoming too thick/wet.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead until smooth and elastic
- Divide it into eight equal pieces and make into round rolls. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray, and cover with cling film enough to keep out the air but not enough to push down on the rolls when they rise.
- Put them in a warm place until they rise to double their size (this is called proving)
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (fan 200)
- Place rolls in the centre of the oven for ten minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 (fan 180) and give it another ten minutes until the rolls have risen, are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the bottom
This will all take about an hour plus the time for proving – maybe another forty minutes to an hour. They are delicious – ideal for ploughman’s lunch, or even eggs Benedict. The flour comes in 1kg packs, and lasts months, so there is enough to make two batches. I predict, however, you will not wait four months before making your second batch.
Back to controversy soon, and there’s plenty of it. The inter-generational spat has broken out again, and the productivity problem needs my attention. Then there’s the abuse of capitalism. So much to say, so little time.