Happy New Year everyone!
I’ve spent today getting reacquainted with my baking spirits, which is always a worthwhile activity, even when it is stinking hot. And even when it’s not always appreciated by others.
And it was important that it happen today. You see, I am starting a new tradition. Okay, more like ‘borrowing’ and running with someone else’s tradition.
As some of you know, I bought Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries III when it first came out – no way was I risking that one on the Christmas list… what if no one bought it for me??? I would be bereft of Nigel…
So I had already read his entry for New Year’s Day, which he called Rising. In it, Nigel talks about how the new year comes to his kitchen quietly, with a pot of soup and freshly baked bread. He writes:
‘I like the notion of yeast rising, of new life in the kitchen on the first day of the New Year. Eccentric, daft even, but to me it just feels right.’
Is that not a glorious notion?
And I think that those with bakers’ souls will feel a certain affinity with this notion…
Yeast rising in the kitchen on the first day of the new year can become a quite a compelling metaphor for an unbelievable number of different things, for an unbelievable number of different people. So don’t forget to make 2016 the best year you can for yourself.
And you can start by joining the fiesta party! Our hostess with the mostess, Angie @The Novice Gardener, and her lovely co-hosts – Judi @Cooking with Aunt Juju, Molly @Frugal Hausfrau, Steffi @Ginger & Bread and Suzanne @A Pug in the Kitchen – are extending the party over the festive season, so come along and share your first dishes of 2016.
Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Rolls
- 500g white bread flour
- 7g sachets instant dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 350ml water
- 3 large sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped)
- 100g goat’s cheese (cut into small chunks)
- Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add almost all the water and mix to a sticky dough.
- Continue to mix for a further minute or so – the dough will gradually become less sticky. Add a touch more flour or water until you are left with a dough that is soft and springy, yet slightly sticky to the touch.
- Flour a large work surface and gently knead the dough for 10 minutes without treating it aggressively. It should feel soft, smooth, light and springy.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it to prove for an hour in a warm place.
- When the dough has doubled in size, tip it back onto a floured surface. Knead it again for 30 seconds.
- Work the rosemary and cheese into the dough so that they are evenly distributed.
- Cut the dough into six equal pieces and shape each piece into small rolls.
- Lay the rolls on a floured baking tray, leaving a good amount of space between them.
- Decorate each roll with a few rosemary needles on top.
- Leave to rise in a warm place under a tea towel for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
- Great as a burger bun. Fantastic eaten warm and slathered in butter.
Recipe by Nigel Slater as found on BBC website.