This is one of those recipes that at first glance seems to call out "winter" - the ingredients include stout (or cider) and oats, which conjure up images of a hearty, cold-weather bread. But really, I've baked them several times, and they are just as delicious in warm weather as they are in cold. And I'm posting them now because my good blogging friend Natashya of the lovely blog Living in the Kitchen with Puppies (with a blog name like that you know we just have to be friends, right?) is hosting this month's Bread Baking Day, and she chose the theme "Breads with a Twist." There's nothing twist-ier than a knot, in my opinion, so I'm going to post these wonderful knotted rolls as my participation in Bread Baking Day #30. In early June Natashya will post a roundup on her blog and it's always amazing to see the variety of breads from bakers around the globe.
- These rolls are a Dan Lepard recipe, one of a series of recipes that are published weekly by the Guardian. I love to check on Saturdays to see what Dan's baking up each week. recipe here
- Here is a youtube video of Dan baking these rolls:
- Dan came across the rolls in Findhor, on the Firth of Moray in northeast Scotland. The rolls incorporate oats that are cooked in stout - or cider - before being mixed with the flour and yeast.
- I've baked these rolls with all Guinness Stout , with Guinness stout supplemented slightly with an ounce or two of chocolate stout, and I've baked them with the alternate beverage listed, apple cider (I used the non-alcoholic kind, although the recipe might have been contemplating the "hard" kind).
- For the whole grain component the first time I baked the rolls I chose half rye, half white whole wheat. I've also used King Arthur Flour's Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour, which is a rough-ground whole grain soft wheat flour.
- I've used instant yeast and fresh yeast (6 tsp) with equally good results.
- The recipe produces 1200 g of dough, which makes 8 rolls @150 g each. These bake up into fairly large rolls, suitable for sandwiches. You could also make a dozen rolls at 100 g each, which would give you a generous dinner roll.
- The dough is soft and sticky, so the knots didn't keep their definition as well as the Italian knot rolls that I baked last year, and about as well as the kaiser rolls that I baked recently.
- In order to get a light coating of oats on the rolls, the dough is formed into logs, then rolled on wet paper towel and dipped into loose oats before forming the knots.
These rolls are one of my favorite breads - substantial but not heavy, filled with the complexity of whole grains but not a bit dry, tinged with mystery from the stout, and just a touch sweet, especially version with the plain apple cider. These do just as well on the edge of a cold salad plate in summer as they do on the rim of a bowl of steaming soup in winter.
I'm also sending the rolls to Yeastspotting, a weekly compilation of delicious yeasted breads, presented every Friday.