How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

How to make bread rolls
Bread Rolls

Believe me when I say, there’s nothing better than taking a batch of freshly baked bread out of the oven. Except of course, eating it. Have you ever tried baking bread at home, from scratch? I know a lot of people feel intimidated by the thought of yeast. I was a member of that club for a very long time. But I can tell you this much, if you keep a few things in mind, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of bread baking. Moreover, there are so many varieties to try.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one that I fall back on frequently to make bread rolls. It’s a very basic bread recipe and makes a great starting point, if you haven’t baked bread before.

Things to keep in mind –

  • Yeast – Make sure that your yeast is viable. This is easy to do. Place the quantity specified in the recipe in a bowl with warm water and sugar. When rested for about 5 minutes, the yeast gets bubbly and frothy, signalling that it is still viable. If it doesn’t froth up, you may need to replace your yeast.
  • Using warm water – Make sure that your water is warm, not hot. You should be able to keep your finger submerged in the warm water comfortably. If you cannot, the water is too hot, and it will kill the yeast.
  • Kneading the dough – Kneading the dough takes a little time. You need to do this patiently. This helps build gluten fibres, which in turn will help your bread rise well.
  • Resting time – Bread almost always, cannot be rushed, unless you’re making a quick bread. The time needed to rest (prove) your dough depends on the ambient temperature. Resting the dough in a warm spot in the kitchen will help it rise. If it is really cold where you are, consider keeping it by a window that gets a lot of sun or in the oven with just the light on.

Keep these vital points in mind when you’re making bread and you will see great results. Bread making gets better with practice. If your first batch doesn’t turn out spectacular, don’t worry, the next batch will be better, since you now know what to expect. So now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s move on to the recipe.

How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Recipe by Trisha Vaz
Yields

12

Rolls
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Resting Time

2

hours

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant dried yeast

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1/4 cup warm water + 1 cup warm water (approx.) to knead the dough

  • 3 cups plain flour / all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • In a little bowl, place the warm water and add sugar and yeast to it. Stir to mix a little. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the flour and salt. Mix through.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and sugar solution. Mix it in with the flour. Add more warm water gradually and knead to a smooth, soft dough. (I had to use just over 1 cup of water) Once the dough comes together, continue kneading for about 5 minutes. You will find the dough gets a little more stretchy than it first was.
  • Drizzle oil and knead it into the dough.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of the bowl and place the dough in it. I lightly oil the top of the dough too. This keeps it from drying out. Cover and set aside in a warm spot in the for about an hour or till the dough has doubled in size.
  • Knock the dough back to get rid of the air bubbles and roll to a ball. Cut into portions and roll out into smooth balls. Place them about an inch apart in a lightly greased baking pan.
  • Cover and leave it in a warm spot for the second rise. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Brush the top of the bread rolls with some water and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
  • As soon as the bread is baked, take it out of the oven, brush some butter over the top and cover the pan for around 5 minutes with a clean tea towel. This traps the steam in and keeps the rolls soft.
  • Then take the rolls out of the pan and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • This is a vegan friendly recipe. I used a vegan butter, but feel free to use a butter of your choice.

Savory Ricotta Scones

This is a recipe I came across by pure chance. Last week I bought a big basket of fresh ricotta, not for the ricotta, but for the basket. Has anyone else done something as crazy as that? I needed the basket for a project I’m working on and if all goes well, I will share that with you. But I must admit, I was quite stoked to have the fresh ricotta to play with. And play I did. This is one of the things I made using that ricotta. I made a batch of these amazing Savory Ricotta Scones. I used a bunch of dried herbs I had in the kitchen, but I can only imagine how much more amazing these would taste with fresh herbs. One of the things I want to do, is grow my own herbs. And if I have any luck with that, I will make this recipe using fresh herbs.

Have you tried making scones before? I’ve tried these Chocolate Chip Banana Scones, Double Chocolate Scones and some Classic Scones – all sweet ones, out of which my favorite one is the Chocolate Chip Banana Scone. That being said, I do want to try my hand at a few more recipes. So this time, I decided to try out a savory scone and when I saw this recipe for Savory Ricotta Scones, I was thrilled. It would be the perfect way to build on my scones list as well as use up that amazing Ricotta.

The recipe itself was very simple and the scones turned out really well. They were tender and delicate and beautifully flavored. They would pair fantastically with a soup. I want to try these with a roasted tomato soup when the weather cools down. So whether or not you’ve tried scones before, I do hope you try these out. Serve them with a soup, or for brunch or with some tea and let me know what you think of them.

I’ve made a little video to help you through the process –

Savory Ricotta Scones
Adapted from: Love Life and Good Food

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp chilled butter
1/2 cup sliced spring onions
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
Sea Salt
Black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
Smoked paprika, to sprinkle over

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Line a baking tray with some parchment / baking paper and lightly grease the paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Cut the butter through the flour mix or grate it and mix it till you get a coarse crumb texture.

Add the spring onions and herbs. Stir through.

Add the Ricotta cheese and milk and stir through just until combined.

Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Lightly bring the dough together. Do not knead.

Pat the dough into a rectangle. Dip the cutter or knife in some flour and cut into 10-12 equal pieces.

Place on the parchment lined baking tray.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tsp water. Use a silicone / pastry brush and brush the egg white on the scones. Sprinkle some salt, freshly cracked black pepper and smoked paprika over the tops of the scones.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve while still warm with a little butter.

If you’re making these in advance or if you have leftovers, they reheat well either in a covered pan on low heat or wrap them in foil and warm in a 180ºC oven for about 5-10 minutes.

Double Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

It has been ages since I baked a batch of cookies. There was a time when I baked almost every week. But that hasn’t happened for a while. I must say that this batch has reminded me of all the reasons why I love baking. You haven’t really eaten a good cookie until you’ve eaten one that’s homebaked. The store-bought ones pale in comparison. I do believe that since I haven’t had a home baked cookie in a while, the difference was very noticeable and it is safe to say that I will be doing a lot more baking. It’s a good thing autumn seems to be just around a corner. Putting the oven on will be some much more pleasant on cooler days.

On to these cookies. The batter is really easy to put together. And the macadamia nuts in the cookies are amazing. I used a batch that I’d bought on our last trip to the Sunshine Coast. If you’re ever there, you must visit the Nut Factory. There’s not much to look at, but they offer a range of macadamia nut snacks, ranging from the natural and the plain roasted to a beautiful dark chocolate covered Macadamia Nut for the chocolate lover in you and a Crunchy Hickory Macadamia for when you’re in the mood for something savory (This was one of my favorites and it goes really well with a cold beer.) The best part of the visit is you can sample some of the treats on offer. But I digress. So let’s get back to these cookies. I was specifically looking for a cookie recipe to showcase the gorgeous Macadamia Nuts and this recipe does just that.

Double Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
Adapted from: Crazy for Crust
Makes 20 cookies


1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and flour till they are all combined.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Mix in the egg and vanilla till well incorporated.

Add the flour cocoa mix and mix until just incorporated.

Add the chocolate chips and the chopped macadamia nuts and fold into the cookie dough.

Scoop batter into equal sized portions onto the prepared baking tray and space them a couple of inches apart.

Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the cookies have just lost the glossy sheen.

Cool completely and then store in an air tight container.

Enjoy!!!

You can watch the video recipe here –

Pumpkin Pie – baked from scratch

Almost everyone around the globe appears to be embracing the approach of fall. Falling leaves, cooler days, soups and sweaters and all things pumpkin. In my part of the world though, we are well on our way to Summer. But, since we’re so blessed with great weather and an abundance of fruit and veg all the year round, we are still getting a fair bit of pumpkin. But I think it is nearing the end of pumpkin season. I realized I had never made or tasted pumpkin pie. I know right! That, I am glad to report, has officially changed.

Over the weekend, I bought some pumpkin, made my own pumpkin puree, the filling and the pastry from scratch. Hang on, don’t run away. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really wasn’t. I roasted the pumpkin late one evening and the next day I made the pie. The pastry and the filling comes together in the food processor. The food processor was used mainly out of necessity. I’d sprained my wrist a few days ago and there was no way I could have knead the dough or mashed the pumpkin by hand. I was amazed at how easy it was. I may never go back to making shortcrust pastry any other way. I do hope you try baking a pumpkin pie from scratch this year, especially if you haven’t done so before. It is so satisfying, you’ll be glad you did.
I left the pie just as it was baked and didn’t even cover the little knife test mark, because I didn’t want to over sweeten it by adding any icing sugar on top. You could dust it with some icing sugar if you’d like. If you want to make it more indulgent, top it with some whipped cream or serve it with some ice cream if you’d like. We tried that, but loved how it tasted by itself. And trust me, it tasted even better the next day. So make it a day or two before you need it (think Thanksgiving dinner), and once it has completely cooled down, refrigerate till you are ready to serve. The pie is beautiful – the pastry is perfectly flaky and the filling spiked with warm spices is silky smooth.

How to make Pumpkin Puree at home – 

1 – 1 1/2 kilo pumpkin

You can either use small pumpkins or a wedge of a larger one, whatever you can get your hands on. I used about 1/3 of a Kent Pumpkin.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Cut into equal sized wedges. Leave the skin on. Scoop out the insides – the seeds and the membrane.

Place the pumpkin skin side down on a roasting tray and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or till a knife pierced through the flesh of the pumpkin goes through without any resistance. (I did this while we were having dinner)

Let the pumpkin cool. (I left it to cool overnight and made the puree the next day.) Peel the pumpkin or scoop out the flesh, whatever you find easier, and place the pumpkin in a food processor and blitz till done. If it looks too dry, add a couple of spoons of water and blitz again.

What you are left with is a glorious bowl of fresh pumpkin puree.

Once you have your pumpkin puree, you can use it to make anything pumpkin you’d like – Pumpkin pie, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin cake / cookies, pumpkin rolls and the list goes on.

Now, let’s get on to making the Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Pie 
Recipe from: Tabler Party of Two

For the pie crust
250g all purpose flour
125g cold butter, cubed
A couple of tablespoons of cold milk
(If you’re using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt. If you’re using salted butter, leave out the salt.)

Place the flour and butter in the food processor.

Pulse a few times till the butter has broken down and you’re left with a mix that looks like this.

Add a couple of spoons of cold milk to help bind the pastry and pulse a couple of times till you are left a mix that looks like this. Start with a spoon or two and add more if needed.

Place some clingfilm on your work surface (lesser clean up this way) and tip this mix on top.

Press together to form a dough. Don’t knead or overwork the dough.

Wrap it up in the same cling film and refrigerate for about half an hour.

While the dough is chilling, make the pie filling.

For the pie filling

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk (a 12 ounce can)
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blitz till everything is well incorporated and smooth.

 
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll to a disc large enough to cover a 9 inch pie dish. Line the pie dish with the dough and pour in the filling.

Cover just the edges of the pie crust loosely with foil to keep it from burning.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or till a knife pierced through the center comes out clean. Take the foil off in about the last ten minutes to let it evenly brown.

Cool and cut into wedges and serve.

Enjoy!!!

Pin now and try later.

Shrewsbury Biscuits

Shrewbury biscuits are the best biscuits ever. EVER. They are buttery, sweet and melt in your mouth. Once you’ve had a taste of these, you won’t be able to stop at one. 

It has been ages since I enjoyed one of these biscuits. If you haven’t heard of these, I don’t really blame you. I haven’t seen these at all in Australia. In India, if you are from Pune or the surrounding areas, Kayani’s Bakery was where you’d get your fix of these. And if you were really lucky, a random store in Mumbai would stock them.

But today, I come bearing good news, no, Great News. You can now make Shrewsbury biscuits at home with 4 basic pantry staples – butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract. Yup, that’s how simple it is. Now the trick to getting these biscuits right, is to bake them on a low temperature for a slightly longer period. But keep an eye on them. You want to take them out just when they start getting a little color on them maybe even a tiny bit earlier than I did this batch. 
The store bought Shrewsbury biscuits have a distinct look. They are stamped. These may not look like the store bought one, but they taste just like them, if not better. And I’m not just saying that, the store bought ones contain margarine and who knows what kind of stuff is in it. These are made using butter. And it is a well known fact that everything is better with butter. 🙂 These biscuits are smaller than the store bought ones but they look daintier this way. Serve them up with a hot cup of tea when you’re expecting company over and get ready to be the most popular biscuit maker around.
Shrewsbury Biscuits
Yields: 24 small biscuits
200g all purpose flour
100g superfine sugar (or powdered granulated sugar)
150g butter, at room temperature (If you’re using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the dough)
1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 150ºC. 
Line a baking tray with some baking paper and lightly grease it and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the butter and sugar till light and creamy. 
Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
Add the flour and stir through. Gently knead till it just about forms a soft dough.
Divide the dough into 24 portions. 
Roll them out into balls and flatten to a disc and place on the prepared baking tray.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or till they are just starting to develop some color. 
Cool completely and store in an air tight container. 

This recipe has been shared with –
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Chocolate Oatmeal Crispies – My New Favorite Cookie

Oh yes, this one is my few favorite cookie. I liked it so much more than the much raved about chocolate chip cookie. Now don’t get me wrong. I like all kinds of cookies and till about a couple of days ago, I really liked this chocolate chip cookie. But this Chocolate Oatmeal Crispy just took my love for cookies to a whole other level. They have chocolate, the goodness of oats and a little coconut. They are crispy, crunchy and chewy all at the same time. It sounds crazy, but seriously, try these. Its hard to stop eating them. My cookies spread out while baking, but I really liked how they turned out. They were thin and very rusting looking, quite charming.

Chocolate Oatmeal Crispies
Adapted from: Beurrista
Makes 34

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 baking soda
1 oz butter (I used salted butter and omitted the salt from the original recipe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup old fashioned or quick cooking (not instant) oatmeal
1 cup dessicated coconut

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift the flour and baking soda and set aside.

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler. (Set in over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water doesn’t come in contact with the chocolate.)

In a bowl, cream the butter well.

Add the extracts and the sugar and beat well until mixed.

Beat in the egg and the melted chocolate.

Gradually add the sifted flour mix while beating on a low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix till just incorporated.

Add the oatmeal and coconut and mix with a spoon.

Take a spoonfull of cookie dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Place it on the parchment sheet about 2-2 1/2″ away from each other. Using the back of a fork, press the cookie to flatten it a little, making a criss cross pattern.

Bake for about 15 minutes. When they are done, the cookies will feel crusty on top and still a little soft in the center. They will get crispy as they cool.

I however think you should try one while its still hot. I couldn’t resist it and while they are excellent when they are at room temperature, bite into one and see how lovely it is when they’re still warm, its kinda fudgy.

This recipe is linked to –
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday