This is one of my childhood favourites, now made popular by Macanese Pork Chop Bun. It's not gourmet bread, in fact according to my Portuguese friends, it's their most common and cheap bread roll. But if you are like me and sometimes get lazy to chew too crispy crust of those farmhouse loaf or baguette, this has it's own appeal. We use it for our burger, eat with curry and of course slip a piece of BBQ pork chop inside, and make it a very versatile alternative for the bread lover.
300ml Water, room temperature
200g Strong bread flour
5g Active dry yeast
40ml Milk or water
20g Olive oil or butter
300g Strong bread flour
Now let's get to work -
1. In a mixing bowl, stir Starter ingredients together, cover with cling film loosely or damp cloth and let the mixture proof at room temperature. How long it takes will depend on the room temperature. It can take 1 hours or more. What you look for is the size of the starter double and have frothy foam on top like beer. When you tap the bowl on the countertop, the foam will collapse.
2. Mix Dough ingredient together. If you have a standing mixer, that's great. Attach the dough hook and mix the ingredients together at low speed for about 15 - 20 mins. The dough should be stretchy, smooth and pull away from the side. When you press the dough with your fingers, it should bounce back slowly. If you don't have a standing mixer, you can always knead it with your hands until achieve the same texture. Let it proof in room temperature until double in size. May take up to an hour.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat it with a bit of oil, then divide out your dough into 90g portions. Keep the baking sheet and the dough covered while you are working to help retain moisture. Then form each portion into balls. This link will show you the technique how to shape your dough into a ball. Then cover them and rise again for about an hour (or double in size again). You can always choose to put it back to the fridge and let the flavour develop more, otherwise it's good to go into oven.
or if you like to shape to the traditional oval shape
4. Preheat the oven to 220c, put a tray at the bottom of the oven and let it heat up as well. Meanwhile, make a 5mm slit on top of your shaped dough with a sharp knife. Once your oven is to the temperature, pour a cup of water on the tray so it steams up your oven, and put your dough in and bake for 15-17mins. To see if the bread rolls are cooked, tap bottom and they should sound hollow.
Voila, now I hope you have some nice pork chop or burger ready to go with them.