As a foodie I am a big fan of several cooking blogs . . . no surprise there. One of my favourites happens to be a Canadian food blog entitled Mennonite Girls Can Cook. It is authored by 10 lovely Mennonite ladies and is just fabulous . . . filled with good old fashioned, non-pretentious cooking.
I happen to know first hand that Mennonite's are wonderful cooks. I have lots of very fond memories of a fabulous restaurant that we used to visit in St Jacob's, Ontario called Anna Mae's. The food there was just wonderful and the restaurant was always super busy. Eating there was just like sitting down to supper at a good friend's house or your mum's . . . everything homemade, delicious and . . . just like at mum's you can tell what day of the week that it is by what's on the menu! (Do take a look at their page and you'll see what I'm talking about.)
Everything was super delicious and the pies . . . homemade bread and rolls and the pies . . . wow. Pie at Anna Mae's = out of this world!
I would be the first one to confess that I am not a great bread baker. My mother made beautiful loaves of bread . . . and my Aunt Thelma's Potato Rolls were the best I've ever eaten. I am afraid I missed out on the bread baking gene when it was being handed out. I saw this recipe over on the Mennonite girl's page one day last week and I thought to myself. YES! I can do that!
And so . . . I adapted the recipe to the ingredients that I have available to me over here in the uk . . . and . . . know what??? They turned out not half bad!
In fact, I would even go so far as to say they are quite, quite scrummy! We had them with a delicious vegetable potage that I will share with you another day, but for now . . . here's the roll recipe.
*Herbed Oatmeal Pan Rolls*
Makes 9 pan rolls
Wholesome and delicious. These tasty rolls are perfect with soups, stews or even on their own, buttered with some tasty strong cheddar on the side.
250ml boiling water (1 cup)
40g rolled oats (not old fashioned) (1/2 cup)
2 TBS butter
200g strong white bread flour (2 cups)
65g granary bread flour (1/2 cup, multigrain)
2 TBS caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 TBS easy bake yeast (bread machine, quick rise)
1 large free range egg, at room temperature
For the herby topping:
2 TBS butter, melted
1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp finely grated Parmesan Cheese
Combine the boiling water, oats and 2 TBS butter in a small bowl, stirring to melt the butter. Let stand and cool to just warm before proceeding.
Measure the white and granary flours into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, salt and yeast. Beat the egg into the warm oat mixture. Stir this into the dry ingredients until all are well incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough until you have a smooth, soft dough, which is not sticky, adding more strong white flour as needed. Shape into a ball and cover with the bowl. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Grease a 9 inch square metal baking tin. Punch the dough down and then press it into the baking tin to fill all the corners. Take a sharp knife and cut down through the dough to the bottom of the pan, cutting it into 9 equal squares. (3 cuts across and 3 cuts down.) Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Once the oven has heated bang the pan of rolls into it and bake for 15 minutes. While they are baking, stir together all the ingredients for the herby topping. At the end of 15 minutes, remove the partially baked rolls from the oven. Brush the tops with the herby topping. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and they sound hollow on the bottoms when turned over and tapped lightly with your fingers. Tip out onto a wire rack to cool to warm. Best served fresh, but can be revived by a gentle reheating in a warm oven for 8 to 10 minutes.