During my #summerofsandwiches adventure, I thought I should work on my bread baking skills because, to be honest, it’s my worst skill in the kitchen. It’s embarassing. I can bake killer biscuits or make great flatbreads, but a good, lofty loaf has always been my nemesis.
I’ve started with simpler breads like Irish soda bread or, more recently, the Swedish spelt bread, Dinkelbröd, and focaccia. When I was pondering doing a “neeps and tatties” themed sandwich this week because of the first turnips of the season (hush if your Scottish, I know, I know, neeps are Swedes…or turnips…or both….or MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!….sorry haha), I was thinking of a Scottish bread.
Besides the Scottish influence on aboriginal bannock, I wasn’t too familiar with anything else from the Scottish bread basket. I found a recipe for the soft bread/bun, Bap, and was on my way! Plus it’s a relatively easy, rustic bread so it’s great for my somewhat lackluster bread baking skills!!
Bap (Scottish Soft Buns/Bread):
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup Park wheat flour (or whole wheat bread flour)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp softened butter
1 cup warm water
1 cup milk (heated to about 37C/100F)
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch raw cane sugar
Milk for brushing
Extra flour for dusting
In a large bowl, combine the spelt, Park wheat flour and salt. Crumble in the butter and massage it into the dry mixture until uniformly incorporated, like chunky peas. Make a well in the centre and add the warm water, milk, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes until the yeast has become bubbly and frothy.
Once it is bubbly, start to stir the flour-butter mixture into the yeast mixture, creating a soft, and slightly sticky dough. Gently knead briefly in the bowl and if it’s not sticky, add a tablespoon or two of warm water. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Turn the sticky dough out of the bowl on to a well-floured counter. Divide into four, form into balls and press down with the palm of your hand.
Roll out the pressed dough a bit with a rolling pin, press with your thumb in the centre of each and transfer to a well-floured baking sheet. Brush with milk and dust heavily with more flour and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Bake risen dough in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the bottom, when tapped, sounds hollow, but the top of the bread is still soft.
Option: The dough could be divided into 8 balls of dough instead of 4 to get more of a bun size. This recipe makes 4 breads about 15cm/6″ in diameter.