Yesterday I took out the pound of minced beef that I’d intended to use for meatballs. Then himself rang and said that he’d like to go to the allotment straight after work so asked could I make something handheld that he could eat on the go. The dinner plan changed from meatballs to burgers in homemade soft white rolls. It kind of suited me anyway as the boys like to eat food with their hands, particularly the smaller one who is still a bit at weaning stage.
It would be an understatement to say I’ve been amazed at the feedback from my post yesterday about living on a tight grocery budget got. Over the course of the next few days I intend to share a couple of recipes with you and some updates on the grocery budget situation.
Monday was a no-spend day. I collected the 4 year old from montessori and we walked home. We took the long, meandering route and chatted about graffiti that we spotted along the way, birds, flowers etc. Well when I say chatted, he nattered on and I ended up using my loud (outside) voice to make sure he heard me. On the way we dropped into the library to pick up a book for bedtime. Our local library also lends videos, audio books and DVDs so it’s a cheap, free alternative to renting movies and buying books all in the one spot.
Once we got home I pulled out the reliable sandwich toaster and made some cheese toasties for the boys, I got one with the addition of a punchy homemade tomato relish. I cut some root vegetables into chunky batons which means that the small guy can hold them in his fist if he likes, they’re also handy for making and building things at dinner time. According to the 4 year old anyway. The burgers are made with 100% minced beef only, I lightly oil a cold frying pan then bring it up to a sustained medium heat before cooking.
These homemade soft white rolls actually take very little effort to make. They are frugal and the proving time is relatively quick, there is limited kneading too which make them handy to make without a stand mixer with a kneading dough hook. The entire cost for making these rolls is just under €1 for 6 (equating to 16c per roll) and that’s with a decent quality strong white flour, I’m sure you could make more savings by using cheaper ingredients.
Monday’s Grocery Balance: €18.99
Makes 6 medium homemade soft white rolls
- 300g strong white flour (plus extra for baking stage)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
- 25g unsalted butter, softened
- 150ml cold water (possibly more so start with this amount)
- 1 teaspoon salt (you can lower this amount if you’re watching your sodium intake)
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and yeast, then mix the butter into this mixture until you get a light breadcrumb texture.
Pour the salt into the cold water and stir until dissolved (I picked up this tip from Paul Hollywood). Pour half the saline water into the dry ingredients and using your hand (or dough hook) mix, add half of the remaining water in and mix again. Slowly add the remaining water until you have a sticky dough. The dough will be fairly loose, the easiest way to explain is that it should form into a lump but be very moist. Don’t be afraid to reserve some water if you think it’s becoming too sticky or add more if it’s not sticky enough.
Dampen your hands and knead the dough for 10 minutes in the bowl, 5 minutes on high if you’re using a dough hook. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Leave the dough in a warm spot for 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes, preheat your (fan) oven to 210 degrees Celcius and place a spare baking tray in the bottom. While the oven is heating knock back the dough in the bowl, separate it into 6 equal pieces. Dampen your hands with water and shape each into a rough round shape. Sprinkle some flour over a baking tray and put the balls of dough onto the tray sitting about 5 cm apart. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top at this stage if you want them, they’re not compulsory. Lightly dust the tops with a bit extra flour. Boil a kettle of water.
Once the oven comes up to temperature, pop the rolls into the oven. Fill the baking tray in the bottom of the oven with hot water to the 3/4 mark and close the door.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. These rolls will keep for up to 24 hours to be eaten as they are, a further 48 hours if you’d like to toast them & of course they will freeze for up to a month once cold.