Joujou breads

Makes around 40

The recipe below makes around 40 little joujou breads, but you can halve the quantities if you like. You can serve

them as an accompaniment to just about anything, or alternatively you can chill the dough quite happily for up to 24 hours and it freezes very well indeed, for up to 4 weeks. Defrost at room temperature, then roll out and bake.

 

If you use ‘instant’ or ‘dried active yeast’, there’s no need to activate it first in warm water, as you would with fresh yeast. However we do follow legendary baker Paul Hollywood’s suggestion of keeping the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl (salt can kill the yeast) before you mix everything together.

625 g (1 lb 6 oz) strong (bread)

flour

4 teaspoons dried active yeast

(2 x 7.5 g / 1/4 oz sachets)

450 ml (16 fl oz) warm water

40 ml (1 . fl oz) extra-virgin

olive oil

1 heaped teaspoon salt

75 g (2 1/2 oz) sesame seeds (optional)

Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand-mixer and add the yeast. Whisk the warm water with the oil and add it to the bowl. On the lowest speed, knead with the dough hook for 4 minutes. Add the salt then

increase the speed to medium and knead for further 4–6 minutes, or until the gluten has developed and the dough is smooth and satiny.

 

Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a draught-free spot for 45–60 minutes, until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and knead again for a few minutes. Divide into 4 equal portions. At this stage you can wrap the dough pieces in cling film and chill or freeze.

 

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to its highest temperature.

 

On a floured work surface, roll out a ball of dough evenly to form a square about 3 mm (1⁄16 in) thick. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges neatly and then cut the dough into 8 cm (3 1/2 in) squares or into little rounds. If using, sprinkle on the sesame seeds evenly – each joujou bread should have a generous coating. Press the seeds gently into the dough then transfer each piece to a heavy-based baking sheet, taking care not to distort the shape. Leave for 10 minutes while you

continue with the rest of the dough.

 

Bake the first lot of joujou breads for 4 minutes. They should colour lightly and puff up into lovely little pillows. Remove from the oven and tip into a clean tea towel or large napkin to keep warm while you bake the remaining joujou breads.

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