It feels like a year ago that I was offered the opportunity of hosting FFTO, and I just want to thank Claire of Purely Food and Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food For Families for the opportunity. In December I came up with a list of breads I could challenge you all to do, but I discarded one after the other as time ticked on. Finally I decided to bake mosbolletjies. This translates directly to small moss balls but actually has nothing to do with anything green!
I live in wine farming country and during the harvest festival at Vergenoegd Wine Estate, Michael (the chef from Pomegranate Restaurant) started our meal off with mosbolletjies. The first week they were white, but the second time we went, they were pink from the grape must. It was this that gave me the inspiration to set the challenge as I did. Grape must is the first step of wine making. It refers to freshly pressed juice which includes the skins, stems and seeds. However, inspiration was not friendly with time and I suddenly panicked that I had left it too late. But, the fact that I did not ‘borrow’ some must from the wine farm meant I had to create my own at home. These steps and stages might seem like quite a lot in order to make small must balls but I hope you will find it fun!
Stage one: create the must
I have pressed grapes by foot before, but this is not practical. It takes a lot of pressure, so press as hard as you need to in order to break the skin. But, not too hard as you don’t need much juice and you want the best of the juice you press. The darker the grapes, the darker your must will be.
Stage two: feed the yeast
Stage three: let’s make dough
Stage four: let’s make bread
Stage five: let’s bake bread
They are meant to be soft and sweet. These are often served at restaurants in the wine region before you get your meal, or with soup. But I think they make a great tea time snack if served with jam! They will feel a bit stale after a day or two, but 10 seconds in the microwave will make them all soft again.
- 500g grapes, stems on
- Place the grapes into a deep bowl, and use a muddler to gently press the grapes
- Leave to stand for 24 hours out of the fridge so that the must will take on the colour from the skin
- Strain the must and discard the skins and the stems
- Gently heat the must to 40° Celsius
- Measure out 80mls of the must and add the yeast
- Reserve the rest of the must for glazing
- Leave to stand for 20 minutes
- Place the flour, salt, sugar and butter into a mixing bowl
- Gently heat the milk to 40° Celsius
- Whisk the egg into the milk
- Stir the yeast and must mixture and add it to the milk
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients
- Pour in the wet ingredients
- Mix the ingredients together
- Knead until you have a soft dough
- Turn the dough out, lightly oil the bowl and put the dough back in
- Cover the bowl with some cling film and leave to prove for one hour
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back.
- Shape small balls and place them onto a lined round baking tray
- Lightly oil the cling film and cover the dough
- Leave to prove for one hour
- Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
- Glaze the rolls with the reserved must
- Bake for 20 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool
For conversions click here
If you are taking part in the challenge please note that Michelle will be doing the round up – take a look here for the requirements of the challenge.
for all South African Bloggers: please let me know if you are taking part in the challenge – I will be giving away a prize to one lucky blogger!