Huffer

A traditional bread roll from Essex.

Huffer

baking Essex huffers

  •  200 ml milk
  • 60 g butter, cubed
  • 750 g strong white flour
  • 1½ teasp Doves quick yeast
  • 1½ teasp salt
  • 1 tablesp caster sugar (optional)
  • 280 ml cold water

Bring the milk to the boil, stir in the butter and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into a large bowl.

Add the cold water to your buttery milk and stir the warm liquid into the flour. When all the flour’s incorporated, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it for ten minutes.

Now, either knead as you would normally and leave to rise

or

Rub a little vegetable oil onto your work surface – not a pool of oil, just a spoonful to stop the dough sticking – and tip your floury mixture out. Just leave it there a moment while you wash out the bowl and smear a little oil around it to make life easier later on.

Right, back to your dough. Pull it out gently to the right and then fold it back over to the far left. Turn your dough a quarter turn and do it again and keep going until you’ve pulled and folded eight times. No need to be violent or bash your dough around; this is relaxed breadmaking. Put your dough back into the bowl and cover it.

Repeat the gentle pulling and folding after 10 – 15 minutes and then again after another 10 – 15 minutes (or longer if you’re doing something more interesting) and then leave the dough to rise in the bowl for 45 minutes.

After that final rest (or when the dough has doubled in size if you kneaded your dough in a more conventional manner), the dough will be smooth and stretchy so carefully turn it out of the bowl and cut into eight equal pieces, forming each piece into a rough triangle shape. Take two 23 cm diameter lightly greased cake tins and put four triangles into each tin. Or you can just make two large rounds about 2cms thick on baking trays as I did last time.

Cover both tins with a cloth and leave to rise for about 45 minutes.

Sift a little flour over both tins and then bake for 25 minutes at 220oC.

Cool your bread on a wire rack and then slice horizontally and fill.