Its been slightly longer than needed since I baked bread. I was running short of instant yeast and used it miserly. It was like I had almost given up baking bread. But now I have hoarded quite a bit of yeast and it was perfect when it was time to bake bread for Aparna's We knead to Bake where this month we were given delicious French milk bread rolls a.k.a Petit Pains au Lait.
These small milk rolls bread is light but has little and no so huge amount of butter and has milk as the only liquid. They look pretty and shaping these is like an art. I am no artist but I have tried shaping them to the best of my abilities. As usual I halved the recipe but psst.. ended up baking twice. But they definitely got over within an hour.
Warm Milk: 1/3 cup + more as needed
Instant Yeast: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 1/2cup + 1/3 cup
Bread Flour: 6 tbsp = 1/3 tsp vital wheat gluten + 6 tbsp of all purpose flour
Salt: 1/8 tsp
Butter: 30 gm or 2 tbsp
Pearl sugar for topping : Optional (I didnot use)
Put the milk, yeast and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Add flour and salt to this and mix until it looks crumbly. You can do this in a food processor bowl or otherwise. Add butter and knead till you have soft smooth,elastic and non sticky dough. You can add more milk if you want to get the required consistency.
Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat it with oil. Cover loosely with a wrap and let it rise until double. This should be done in 1.5 hours.
Turn the dough onto the worktop or kitchen counter. Optionally dusting your palms with flour, gently deflate the dough and divide into 5 equal pieces. Let these rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out each piece into a circle of 4" in diameter. Slowly roll up the circle from end, jelly roll style into a cylider. Pinch the seam closed neatly, place on a greased/lined baking sheet with the seam side down. Cover loosely ad let them rise for an hour until almost double.
Here as I said, my rolling out into circles was not correct and hence I ended with uuneven /different shaped rolls. Also I flattened them slightly especially at the centre so that the edges will look rounded when they rise.
Brush lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts on the top . Sprinkle with pearl sugar. I didnot go this topping though it definitley increases the taste of the rolls.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool on the rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or tea.
Yum rolls. First time I made these rolls my daughter snatched these right from the baking sheet. They were just sweet with a firm crust and soft or light crumb.Lets see how others baked theirs. Hop over to Aparna.