Friday, 8 February 2013

Onion bread rolls

I love my bread machine. I've always enjoyed baking bread, but although I used to find kneading it by hand very relaxing and sometimes even therapeutic, I never managed to get the bread light and even enough to be a real treat. I've been using bread machines for about 12 ye4ars now, and my goodness! How they have changed. Early models produced an oddly shaped and often strangely flavoured loaf that everyone would enthuse over to be polite. Nowadays, the shape, texture and taste of a loaf made in a  machine can rival those of the very best bakery-bought breads.  And the magic of putting flour, water and yeast into a box and opening it three hours later to find a freshly baked loaf does wonders  for my inner alchemist!

But does baking your own bread save any money? When you take into account the cost of flour and yeast, the fuel used for baking, any additional ingredients and unless, like me, you won it, the cost of your machine, a home made loaf probably works out at about the same price as a supermarket one, although with a little practice you will end up with a far superior product.

Where the savings start to really mount up is when you start to branch out into speciality breads. Just look at the price of speciality hand made artisan breads in  your local specialist shop  or  at a farmers' market. £3 or more for a smallish loaf is not unusual - yet made at home  similar breads will cost you little or no more than making a simple loaf.

My favourite range of speciality flours comes from Wessex Mill. The flours can be bought online or from farm shops all over the country. I love the onion flour - the smell of it reminds me of the Zwiebelbrotchen we used to buy from the local bakers when we lived in Celle, in Germany, 34 years ago. (And yes, I do sniff bags of flour..... what of it?)

My own rolls can't be described as Brotchen because the -chen suffix  is the diminutive - and there was nothing diminutive about these! I followed the dinner rolls recipe in my bread machine handbook, and the rolls rose.... and rose.... and rose..... The finished rolls were huge, light and utterly delicious. 

Taking everything into account, I reckon the whole batch of rolls cost around £1 and each is big and fulling enough to be the basis of a sandwich  or soup-and-roll meal. Because that makes then such a bargain, I am submitting them to Credit Crunch Munch hosted for Fuss Free Flavours by Fab Food 4 All.


Choclette said...

They look lovely Jane and what a good idea to add them to Credit Crunch Munch - if only mine had chocolate in it, I would do the same for the same reasons you gave.

pompeypaul25 said...

Wow these look and sound delicious. Just crying out for some mature cheddar and salad I think.
What put me off bread making (about 20 years ago) was that there was always a strong 'yeasty' flavour from using the dried yeast and using fresh yeast is not very practical ? Did you make these with dried yeast, has that improved over the years and if so is there a brand you could recommend please.

Jane Willis said...

Oh yes, dried yeast has improved a lot . I'm not sure you can use fresh in a bread machine but I have noticed it on sale in my local supermarket, after not having seen it for years. I think it must be the Paul Hollywood effect. But back to,the dried yeast. The sachets always seem to have the wrong ampunt for me, I like to be able to measure exactly what I need. Doves Farm do dried yeast in a pack you can spoon just what you want from, and it never leaves a yeasty aftertaste. It's pretty readily available in supermarkets and works out cheaper per loaf than sachets too.

pompeypaul25 said...

Thanks very much I will give that a try :-)

Camilla @FabFood4All said...

Your rolls look so professional and I'm sure they would be delicious with cheese or soup. Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch this month which is a joint challenge run by myself and Fuss Free Flavours.

Fuss Free Helen said...

Beautiful rolls Jane!

I love making bread, although have to knead in my machine as it hurts my wrists too much to do it by hand.

Many thanks for sending to Credit Crunch Munch, and sorry for taking forever to come and comment.

Rach said...

I am from the small town that produces the Wessex Mill flour. The mill still produces a wide range of flours and does tours as well.

Cheryl Pasquier said...

Love the sound of onion bread rolls - I'll have to see if I can find some flour :)