Summer is here in full swing and even though some days are a bit windy, I can still go out in flip flops and not shiver my way back. Dinners at friends' places and relatives visiting us has left us with little or no time on weekends. And with the World cup matches, Ro refuses to budge from in front of the TV. These savoury buns dipped in hot English or Irish stew was perfect for one of those Saturday lunch sessions especially if you have made the buns a day before and stored in an air tight container. The the stew would take no time to prepare if you have a pressure cooker, oh and if you buy the casserole veggies and beef, all cleaned and diced, from the super market...yup laziness personified... that's me :)
White bread flour- 425 gms (I used Hovis)
Salt- 1 tsp
Baking yeast- 7 gms
Warm water- 325 gms
Sun dried tomatoes in oil- 50gms, chopped and drained (more or less according to your taste)
Garlic cloves- 4, finely chopped
Chopped, flat leaf parsley- a handful + enough to decorate
Pepper powder- to taste
Melted butter- a few teaspoons, just enough to wash the buns
Mix the bread flour, salt and yeast along with water in a bowl of a free standing mixer.
Add the tomatoes, garlic cloves, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and knead on medium speed with a dough hook attachment on your mixer, or drizzle some flour on to a clean kitchen surface and knead with your hands, till the dough is smooth and elastic.
Cover and keep in a warm place (I placed it inside my oven) for about 2 hrs or till the dough doubles in size.
Shape them into tennis-ball sized rolls or even smaller if you please, and place them on a tray lined with baking paper.
Make small indentations on the buns and place a flat leaf parsley for decoration (Creativity flows in abundance when I'm in the mood)
Brush melted butter on top of each bun and leave it aside for 30 minutes, till the dough rises a bit more (you can avoid this step if you are running out of time, I guess).
Place in a pre-heated oven (200C) for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot with some spicy beef stew (Do check out the recipe here) or if you want to have it the next day, store in an air tight container and just before serving, place in a pre-heated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or steam for a few minutes and you would get soft buns.
Parsley can be replaced with oregano or rosemary sprigs.
Add some grated Parmesan cheese while kneading for a cheesy flavour and some dried red chillies for the spice.
The butter wash can be done about 10 minutes before you take the buns out of the oven as well, in case you forgot to do it before, or can be avoided altogether.
If you are the super duper lazy ones like me, then buy the bread mix (you just have to add water and butter) itself from the super market and follow the directions on the cover and add the ingredients starting from sun dried tomato for that added flavour.