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Scoring & Baking Gluten Free Bread Rolls

In our last tutorial, we talked about how to shape our gluten free dough into lovely Tear & Share loaves. In this tutorial, we're going to go  one step further and turn those balls of dough into finger shaped rolls. We don't go into the process of making the dough at all in this video. We also don't cover the process of making the round rolls in much detail. So your first step (if you've not baked our bread before) is to read the blog post and watch the video for our Tear & Share loaf which I've popped below

Now this might seem like a simple step from a round roll to a finger roll. And it is in many ways! But it can also be unbelievably frustrating. When you're shaping a round roll, you use both your hands to mould the roll and as you do, you guide it against the surface of your bench. The roll can't escape! You can add as much flour as you need to the bench to stop it from sticking and gradually work your way up to using virtually no flour as I do in the videos. But when you're shaping that round ball of dough into a sausage, flour is your worst enemy. As you watch the video, you will see what happens when you've got too much flour. That roll will slip and slide all over the place. If you try to compensate for the flour by applying more pressure, you'll end up flattening your roll into a ciabatta. The only way to learn how to shape bread rolls with very little flour is by practicing! Don't be discouraged if it gets frustrating or the rolls are a bit of a wonky shape because you can always turn them back into a round roll and try again! 

The most important thing is to try and make your rolls as smooth as possible. When they have proofed up and hit the heat of the oven, the rolls will expand rapidly and explode out of any weaknesses in the surface of the dough. That is why scoring is so important! It controls the direction and way that your dough expands. If your dough already had loads of weaknesses, then it becomes virtually impossible to control it. 

If you have a look at the photo below, you'll see an example of some poorly shaped bread rolls. These ones failed quality control and never left the bakery. If you look on the inside, the internal consistency is pretty good and they were still lovely and soft to eat. That little tunnel you can see there is also to do with the poor shaping and scoring, but doesn't affect the eating experience

But on the outside? They do not look good at all! What happened with these rolls was a number of things. They were poorly shaped, they were unevenly scored, and then just went everywhere in the oven. Even though they were scored (these are our teff rolls so they were scored with 2 X shapes), the force of the oven spring just bypassed the knife cuts and they expanded everywhere.

When scoring your rolls, hold the blade at a 45 degree angle and go into the proofed rolls by about 2-3mm. Any deeper and you risk deflating the dough and ending up with totally flat rolls instead of ugly ones. Trust me...ugly is better than flat! If you don't score them enough, then they won't expand evenly in the oven. 

There is one piece of equipment though that you really need for these. And that is a baguette tray. These are wavy, perforated trays that allow the rolls to keep that round shape as they proof up and bake.  Masterclass do a 2 baguette tray that will fit into your oven at home and should fit 6 rolls on and you can buy those from one of our suppliers Nisbets. You can bake finger rolls without them, but they will have flat bottoms.

You can watch the video below or directly on YouTube 

As always, if you have any questions whatsoever, why not pop over to our Wildcraft Baking Secrets Facebook Group where our bakers are on hand to help you through every step of the process.

Recipe

Ingredients: 

425g water (or 265g if using liquid egg whites)

15g sourdough

45g sunflower oil

425g white bread flour

12g yeast

9g egg white powder (or 3 medium egg whites)

Method:

  1. Add your dry ingredients into a bowl, starting with your flour, your egg, white powder if using and your yeast and whisk it together.
  2. Pour your water, your sourdough starter and your oil into the bowl of your mixer. With the mixer turning, add your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and keep turning on a medium high speed until it forms a soft, squidgy dough. It becomes more elastic as you beat and gives better results. So don't beat for LESS than ten minutes.
  3. Dust your surface with flour to stop your dough from sticking. Tip your dough onto your bench. Sprinkle with a little bit more flour and form it into a log shape, like this. Using your dough scraper, divide your dough into six equal portions (they should be around 150g each)
  4. Shape each piece into a ball by patting and rolling it three times before using your hands to shape it into a ball, using a cupping motion with your palms. Repeat this with your other five pieces of dough.
  5. If you find that your dough is sticking, sprinkle a little bit more flour onto your bench and then keep going. If you make some balls bigger than others, you can pinch from the big ones to give to the small ones.
  6. Roll your round balls into sausage shapes around 10cm long then place into your oiled baguette tray
  7. Leave to proof until they look nice and puffy, and then score them.
  8. Put them into your oven to bake at 180C convection or 160C in a fan oven for around 20 minutes until the rolls are risen and golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the baguette tray.