Behold one of the kitchen wonders

What you need to know:

  • While at the same time relieving their boredom and learning something useful that is bound to be useful to them for the rest of their lives? 

December is the time of the month when the long vac in Uganda takes place and the children are home for a good couple of months, and what would be a better time for them to take up simple and easy pastry and bread making than now?

While at the same time relieving their boredom and learning something useful that is bound to be useful to them for the rest of their lives? In the event that this is the first time that you are making yeast bread, now is the time to behold one of the great wonders and dramas of the kitchen. Each ingredient has its own persona, and you as the conductor are tasked with the duty of assembling the dramatis personae and guess who is the prima donna; none other than yeast!

 Her volatile temperament is capable of exploitation only within certain confines of heat and most important of all bereft of any sort of draft! The hero is none other than wheat flour and he has a certain secret that makes his personality elastic and produces convincing body to his performance and he remains untouchable in the arena of flour. Rice, rye, corn, soy---- no other flour comes anywhere near him in terms of texture.

 Notwithstanding, he is open to the idea of sharing the stage with others providing they give him the limelight. Regarding salt and sugar, of course they are always around and make necessary but brief appearances. Fat you can enlist or omit at your discretion. However, if you so wish feel free to use him to endow your performance resulting in more tender and lasting appeal.

There is not much difference between bread and roll making. The visual appeal of delicately formed, crusty or glazed rolls is always a stimulant to the appetite. Professional chefs weigh the dough in order to keep the rolls uniform in size for optimum appearance and even baking purposes.  In the event that muffin pans are unavailable, no sweat. Place approximately equal sized shapes of dough at regular intervals over the entire baking sheet. Baking parchment paper saves having a greasy pan to wash as well reducing the grease build up that brings about a discolored pan not to mention uneven browning.

You may use additions to yeast dough as well as coffee cake and to vary the flavor you can sprinkle the tops with poppy, celery, fennel, caraway or lightly toasted sesame seeds based on your preference or your menu. To bake, follow the individual recipe and when ready and baked, be sure to remove at once from the pan to a cooling rack. To reheat, sprinkle them lightly with heat, covered in 400d F or in the top of a double boiler over hot water.  An ordinary steamer will also suffice.

Sugar bread rolls

These delicious sweet rolls show the influence of Spain regarding the cooking of the Philippines and are perfect for tea bites or just an ordinary snack.


1. Sift the flour, salt and caster sugar into a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Alternatively, use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the center and dissolve the yeast in the hand-held (lukewarm) water and pour into the well before adding the egg yolks. Leave for a few minutes until the bubbles appear on the surface of the liquid.

2. Mix the ingredients for 30 – 45 seconds to form a firm dough. Add the softened butter and knead for 2 – 3 minutes in a food processor, or for 5 minutes if you are using an electric mixer, until smooth. Turn the dough out into a floured bowl and cover and leave in a warm place to rise until double in volume.

3. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 10 pieces. Spread the grated cheese over the surface. Roll each of the dough pieces into 5 inch lengths, incorporating the cheese as you do so. Coil into small shapes and place on a lightly greased high sided tray measuring 12 x 8 inches.

4. Cover the tray with a loose fitting plastic bag and leave in a warm place for at least 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in volume. Bake in a preheated oven at 190Dc/375Df/Gas mark 5 for about 20 – 25 minutes. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with the sugar and allow to cool. Separate the rolls before serving. 


Makes 10

350g/3 cups Supreme white bread flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp dried yeast

150ml/2/3 cup lukewarm water

3 egg yolks

50g/4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

75g/3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

30ml/2tbsp melted unsalted butter

50g/ generous 1/4 cup sugar