Looking forward to a crispy morning roll at the weekend? Now imagine that it’s Saturday, your bread bin is empty, and your wee local shop has ‘nae rolls’. Whit…nae rolls? What do you do? Well don’t panic, for one, because morning rolls are surprisingly easy and fast to make at home.
Follow these steps to create rolls which are fluffy but also chewy, perfect for encapsulating bacon, a square slice, tattie scone, or any other desirable filling.
They are quick and simple to make, and a lot less stressful than trying to make sourdough. Depending on how warm your house is, you can have fresh rolls out of the oven within the hour.
500g strong white flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
100ml whole milk
3 tbsp olive oil
Semolina or polenta
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
Add the lukewarm water, milk, and oil.
Knead for 5 minutes using the dough hook attachment on a food mixer, or for 10 minutes by hand if you don’t have one. If you fancy working out those arm muscles that went south during lockdown, this is your chance.
The dough mixture is ready when the dough has come together into a smooth ball. If using a food mixer you’ll probably have to do a final couple of kneads by hand.
Cover with clingfilm, a tea towel or a shower cap. Let the dough rest for an hour. As long as your kitchen isn’t freezing cold, leaving it on the counter will do.
By this time the dough should be puffed up to around double its size. If not, your kitchen could be a bit too cold (around 20°C is optimum) – in this case, leave it for a bit longer. On the other hand, if you have a warm kitchen or it’s a hot day, the dough will rise more quickly.
If you leave the dough for too long then there is a risk of over-proving. This is when you poke the dough and it doesn’t spring back. Don’t worry if this does happen – it can be rescued. Reshape your dough by kneading again for a couple of minutes and let it re-prove, keeping a closer eye on your creation.
Conversely, if you poke your dough and it springs back without any indentation, then it needs more time to prove.
Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/Gas Mark 8.
Next, knead the dough for another few minutes to remove excess air. It should look just as it did earlier, only now it should be pliable enough to divide into rolls.
Divide into 6-8 pieces and shape into rolls.
Dust a baking tray with semolina or polenta, or line with a sheet of baking paper.
Place your rolls on the tray. If you want to recreate that classic Morton’s roll edge, then let the rolls touch.
Brush each roll with milk and then dust with more semolina or polenta.
Bake in the oven until golden brown, which should take around 15-20 minutes.
So now you know how to make a Scottish morning roll.
We’ll be the first to admit that these aren’t as great as those made by baking gods and roll experts, Morton’s. They aren’t quite as light, but unless we all chip in for a steam oven this is the closest we think we will get.
Chewy and moreish, you can bet that the whole tray will be demolished in no time. Which is just as well, because they won’t keep very long, due to being home-baked and not full of preservatives and whatnot. These little beauties will soon have you thinking of getting up that bit earlier at the weekend to make a batch. Or two.
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