Soft floury baps are the comfort food of bread rolls. A little squidgy and very doughy; when sliced, they open up like a friendly hippopotamus. Insert bacon or burger here.
Baps - the forgotten bread rolls
Soft white baps are certainly out of fashion at the moment. Everyone wants crusty bread, not to mention sourdough, long fermentation and gluten free flour. Full of whole grain, bran and goodness breads are cherished, plain white subs, rolls or baps are in decline.
But apparently the ultimate bacon butty should be housed in an old-fashioned bap. I can easily understand that even though I'm the dedicated consumer of eggs at breakfast, not bacon or sausages.
Baps are comfortingly squidgy, sticking to the roof of your mouth a little, providing a soft floury pillow for the crispy bacon. A slice of tomato on top of the bacon, to leak juices down your chin, and your breakfast is bliss.
Burgers in baps
And, surprise, surprise, baps are the perfect housing for burgers as well – I’m telling you, stuff the little sesame buns. A bap will embrace your burger, mop up the juices and let you consume it in the time-honoured tradition: ditching silly knives and forks and grabbing the burger in your hand.
And if you shape them smaller, they will make perfect soft dinner rolls.
How to make baps
First sponge, the starter dough, which can easily be made the night before and ferment in the fridge overnight. As the sourdough tribe have persuaded us, the longer fermenting, the better the flavour.
Then the main dough is worked with more flour, sugar, liquid (milk or water) and some fat. Goose fat, lard or beef drippings are a classic but butter, which is what I use, will function well too. So yes, it is quite rich dough but that's what makes it so tasty. The video below shows exactly how to make them.
How long does it take to make and bake baps?
Baking bread over two or more days has the advantage of giving the dough a longer fermentation and so a better flavour, as we already know. But it also takes away the stress.
Timing in bread-making
When it comes to actual bread-making activity, I expect these baps require no more than half an hour's hands-on labour. Except it's stretched over in between proving, fermenting, rising, proving and baking.
Every time I need to indicate the time a bread making recipe takes, I'm conflicted: is it the overall time? Is it the active prep? The longest maximum or the shortest minimum?
That's why I usually go for more vague indications - and anyway, if you're deciding to read a bread recipe in depth, you most probably know what you're doing quite well.
The recipe is courtesy of Dan Lepard and his book, ‘Short and Sweet’.