Nothing beats fresh baked rolls to eat with your soup. These are homemade and I make them once a week. If they are frozen within an hour of coming out of the oven, they keep well in the freezer for up to a week. After that, they lose texture and start to dry out.
I use my breadmaker to prepare the dough and if you have one, try this recipe. I've not tried it for hand baking but I'm pretty sure it would work just as well.
1. I add the ingredients to my baking pan in this order: (makes 8 rolls)
1⅛ cup (standard cup) water at around 25-30°c
2 tbsp dried milk powder
½ tbsp demarara sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ tsp salt
1 cup of strong white bread flour
2 cups of Hovis Granary malted wheat flour
1½ tsp dried bread yeast
2. Set your breadmaker to the dough programme (mine is 1h 30m)
3. When the dough is ready, knead it for 6 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 8 (about 90 - 100g per roll) and shape into a ball.
5. Brush the tops with beaten egg and dip into a bowl of mixed seeds. (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
6. Place on baking paper on a baking tray and put in a warm place to prove (I use the airing cupboard) They are ready when they have doubled in size.
7. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (220°c)
8. Reduce the heat to gas 6 (200° c) Put the baking tray near the top of the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
9. Cool on a wire tray and freeze what you don't need within an hour.
If you don't want to seed them, brush them with egg, milk or vegetable oil as a glaze.
I perfected this recipe after a bit of trial and error. I found that the recipe in the breadmaker hand book for rolls gave a dough that was too wet and the rolls spread out instead of rising up.