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Delia’s Wholemeal Rolls
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450g strong stoneground wholemeal flour, plus a little extra
1 level dessertspoon fine salt
2 level teaspoons (or a 7g packet) easy bake dried yeast
350ml hand-hot water
You will need a large baking sheet very well buttered and a large polythene bag greased on the inside with a few drops of oil.
Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl then all you do is simply sprinkle on the salt, easy bake yeast and with a spatula mix everything together thoroughly. Make a well in the centre and pour in all the hand-hot water. Then mix the water into the flour gradually to form a dough: the exact amount of water you'll need will depend on the flour. Finish off by mixing with your hands until you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl clean – there should be no bits of flour or dough remaining on the sides of the bowl and, unlike pastry, it is better to have too much water than too little.
Now transfer the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead it briefly then divide the dough into quarters and then the quarters into eighths. (If you want your rolls to be absolutely the same size, you can weigh the dough then weigh out 8 portions.) Take one portion of the dough, knead it briefly, bring the edges into the centre and turn it over and shape it into a round then do the same with the rest of the portions of dough (or if you prefer a more rustic look just bake the rolls in the rough shapes you have just cut).
Place the rolls on the baking sheet then pop the baking sheet inside the greased polythene bag and tuck the open end underneath the tray. Leave the rolls to rise until they have doubled in size, about 1-1½ hours at room temperature (but this could be much quicker depending on the warmth or the room).
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
When the rolls have risen, remove the bag and sprinkle them with flour, and bake them on a high shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, then cool them on a wire cooling rack.
© Delia Smith 2014