Have you heard of Waterford blaa bread yet? Since obtaining EU protection status which means that true blaa bread cannot be made outside Waterford, blaa bread is cropping up on hipster trendy menus all over the country. And as Ireland's only yeast bread inspired by the Hugenots, this bread deserves wider recognition outside a small corner of the south east. Very soft, fluffy and characteristically floury, blaa is quite unlike other white bread rolls, more similar to a bap and good sweet or savoury. Apparently, a blaa roll is traditionally filled with 'red lead' in Waterford, some sort of ambiguous sausage meat for lunch. Count me out of any 'red lead' consumption...
From Niamh Shield's 'Comfort and Spice'
500g strong white flour
10g dried yeast
10g caster sugar
10g unsalted butter
1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 275ml of warm water. Stir well and leave for 10 minutes to froth.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix vigorously until a shaggy dough forms. Dump it out on the table and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
4. Place in a clean bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size in a warm place like a hot press or sunny window.
5. Preheat the oven to 210oC. Punch the dough to knock the air out and divide into 8 balls. Place on a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for another 50 minutes until the rolls swell.
6. Dust liberally with more flour and then bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Eat the same day.