Yoghurt Bread Rolls

Yoghurt Rolls - bacon 2

I had a lot of natural yoghurt left after my pitta breads (I can only seem to find it in giant pots) and I had bread rolls to make for LSH’s lunches. Whilst I’ve used milk in bread recipes I’ve never used yoghurt. Given the amount I had to use up I thought I’d see what difference it makes. The results were lovely and moist rolls with a bit more depth to their taste – not tangy exactly but definitely something different. I’ve made this a couple of times since with the latest version in loaf form. LSH had complained that the last one was a bit on the dry side but this version was described as one of the best breads he’d had! Not a bad result and enough to add yoghurt to our regular shopping list. So here is the recipe so you can try it yourself.
Yoghurt Rolls - post bake

You need: 420g strong white flour;
80g stoneground wholemeal flour;
100g natural yoghurt;
250g cold water;
1 tsp salt; and
1 tsp easy bake yeast.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together the yoghurt and water and then add them to the bowl.

Bring together all the ingredients into a rough dough and then knead for about 10mins.

Cover and leave to rise for about one and a half hours when it should have doubled in size.

Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 5. Shape each roll into a round and pop onto trays to proof. Leave for about 40min or whenever the dough comes back slowly when prodded.

Wash each roll with water and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top (or whatever you have to hand).

Yoghurt Rolls - before bake

Bake at 200C for about 30-35 minutes when the rolls should be well risen and golden. Eat. Simple straight forward baking but a definite improvement on the standard white roll. Yoghurt Rolls - post bake 1

And here’s the crumb shot…..

Yoghurt Rolls - crumb

The Guildford Manchet

Guildford Manchet

I think that it’s fair to say that I’ve baked more breads from other countries than my own. Crispy French baguettes, airy Italian ciabattas and spicy Indian flat breads have all formed part of my baking repertoire. Even Algerian breads have graced these pages. But traditional British breads have been few and far between.

Somehow this doesn’t feel quite right so I’ve started to look at some of the British breads that have fallen from favour, starting with the Guildford Manchet. First, the history bit.

The manchet dates back to Tudor times and was a white bread made from the finest wheat and hence eaten by the wealthy. It’s size was described as being not enough for one person so was a roll rather than a loaf. Elizabeth David describes it as “the common ancestor… of most of our breakfast breads, baps, tea cakes, muffins [and] soft rolls.” In Surrey the Manchet took on a slightly different form and this is the version below.

The Guildford Manchets are constructed in a similar way to puff pastry or a croissant. Like its continental cousin it’s supposed to be torn apart rather than neatly cut with knife and is best served warm with butter. Recipes vary with some being all butter, but this one is a combination of butter and lard. You can find the original version here but these breads don’t keep well (though you can freeze them) and so I’ve come up with my own slimmed down version.

Guildford Manchet - rubbed in flour

First rub in 15g of unsalted butter into 250g of strong white flour as if making shortcrust pastry. Add 1/2 tsp of easy blend yeast, 1/2 tsp of caster sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.

Then add 85g of milk and 80g of water. Mix and then knead til soft. Leave for about an hour until doubled in size.

Guildford Manchet - blended fats

Meanwhile mash together with a fork a further 45g of butter with 15g lard. Leave in the fridge until the dough is ready.

Guildford Manchet - post rise

When the dough has risen, pop it onto a floured work surface and slash a deep cross into it. Ease each of the quarters out to form a cross.

Guildford Manchet - post fat
Put the butter and lard mix into the middle of the square to form a thick layer.

Guildford Manchet - folding

Fold each of the lobes over the butter and lard so that it is completely covered in dough. Then roll it out into a rectangle about 30cm long.

Guildforr Manchet - fold

Fold the bottom third up over the middle third and then fold the top third down. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat 3 times. If the fat starts to seep through the dough, wrap it in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for about 15 min. Use more flour if it starts to stick to the work surface. 

Gulidford Manchets - shaping

When you’ve done your final rotation, cut the dough into 8 pieces. Pull the edges of each piece into the middle to form a small bun. Make sure to seal it on the bottom. You want the keep the distinct layers so make sure you don’t just roll it up. If you want to freeze some you can open freeze them at this stage and defrost and prove before baking.

If not leave to prove for 20 mins on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Brush the manchets with milk and bake for about 25min until golden and crispy.

Guildford Manchet - internal

Eat whilst still warm with butter or possibly apricot jam.

They won’t keep for more than a day so if you find you have any left they can still be frozen once baked.  Just defrost, coat again with milk and bake for 15 min at 150C to refresh them and bring them back to their crispy best. These little rolls have quickly become one of my favourite breads to bake and eat so do give them a try. Let’s get the Guildford Manchet back on British breakfast tables!