Made with only a handful of ingredients these delicious breakfast rolls are sure to become your new favourite brunch food! I first made these rolls a couple of years ago, I’d been to a restaurant who had the most delicious bread rolls studded with crispy bacon and I’d fallen in love at first bite. I’d decided to have a go myself and thought why not add an egg as well to create this handheld all-in-one breakfast sensation!
I came across a picture of these rolls on my phone yesterday and my mouth instantly began to water, so after a quick glance in the cupboard and fridge I grabbed my apron and scales and began to bake. Bread is my Achilles heel, I don’t have a massive sweet tooth but show me some freshly baked bread and I’ll go weak at the knees. Although I love sourdough and other artisan breads sometimes nothing beats a simple white loaf, especially when it comes to bacon. A good bacon sandwich is definitely in my top 5 favourite foods and for me it has to be made with soft, white bread. If you’ve ever looked on the back of a packet of standard white bread you might be alarmed to see the ingredients list, it will probably look similar to this:
“Wheat Flour (with calcium, iron, niacin (B3) and thiamin (B1)), Water, Yeast, Salt, Soya Flour, Vinegar, Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed, Sustainable Palm), Emulsifier: E472e; Preservative: Calcium Propionate (added to inhibit mould growth); Flour Treatment Agent: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).”
As you’ll see from my recipe below white bread really shouldn’t contain this long list of ingredients, just flour, yeast, water and salt. More and more research into the area of mental health is finding links between a poor diet and mental health problems. If we can try and cut out eating unnecessary additives, preservatives and artificial ingredients then both our physical and mental health will reap the benefits.
So my philosophy is to bake it myself thus cutting out all those hidden nasties, this way I know exactly what’s in it. The recipe here is for a standard white dough that you can also bake as a loaf too, so master this and you’ll always have a good recipe for homemade bread to hand.
These buns have a mixture of sausage and bacon; I only had a small packet of diced pancetta so I made up the amount by dicing up some cooked, cold sausages that were leftover in the fridge. You can make these with either bacon, sausage or like me a mixture of both!
If you’re the kind of person who plans ahead then I’d recommend making the dough the night before, like I did. That way with a minimal preparation these buns can be freshly baked in time for breakfast or brunch. Eat warm from the oven or allow to cool, then split and toast, spread with butter and tomato chutney and fall in love!
FOR THE DOUGH:
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet fast action dried yeast
2 tsp salt
FOR THE FILLING:
200g cooked diced bacon (or cooked sausages, or a mixture of both)
snipped chives, optional
Make the dough. Put the flour, salt and yeast in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a bowl if making by hand) Add between 325-350ml of water (the amount will depend on the conditions in your kitchen) and mix until you have a smooth dough with no floury patches. Knead by hand or in the mixer for 8-10 minutes, until the dough looks smooth. Lightly oil the bowl and return the dough, then leave the dough covered with cling film for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Gently knock the dough back with your fist and then tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten out with your hands until you have a large oval of dough. Arrange the cooked bacon or sausages on top and press down to stick into the dough. Now roll up to encase and gently knead for a few seconds. Divide into 8 balls, weigh them to get them really even, they’ll be about 120g each.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment that’s been lightly dusted with flour. Shape each one into a ball; the best way to do this is to fold the sides back on each other (see video). Place onto the prepared tray and press the middle with your thumb to flatten slightly, this is where the egg will sit, but you’ll do this again later.
Cover with oiled cling film, the rolls can now be chilled overnight or if you’re making them straight away left at room temperature to rise again, until doubled in size.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Remove the cling film and press to indent the buns in the middle. Bake for 18 minutes from chilled or 15 from room temperature then remove and carefully crack your eggs into a bowl. Using the end of a pastry brush make an indent in the middle of just larger than a yoke, about 1cm deep. Carefully spoon a yolk with a little of the white into each hole.
(You’ll have lots of egg white left over, keep frozen and use next time you’re making meringues or use up in egg white omelettes)
Season with salt and pepper. Brush the sides of the rolls with some of the egg white then return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, until risen and the eggs are cooked.
Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes then scatter with chives and serve. Either toasted with butter or warm from the oven.