This is a recipe inspired by some soft bread rolls that Dad still talks about to this day, that we had for breakfast in the Swiss Alps many years ago. Dad first discovered “Swiss Dark Flour” when visiting the alpine village of Saas Fee. To find out how the bakers made such delicious breads, he visited the family mill at Brig where Mr Augsberger, whose family had been milling the flour for three generations, patiently taught him how to produce this flour Swiss style. We are still learning, but love the flavours that their method produces. In Switzerland, the wheat is still grown on the high alpine terraces and harvested by hand, then delivered to the mill in parcels as small as 500 kilos.
We mill this flour by starting with a strong white flour but also retain some of the particularly flavoursome parts from the milling process which have a high mineral content in the flour to create the beautiful flavour. It allows you to create bread with both volume and flavour but which is not dense, yet with some of the natural sweetness of bran.
Enjoy these rolls while still a little warm from the oven with some melting butter and cheeses.
Weigh the flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and stir through quickly to evenly distribute, followed by the butter, milk and water. Knead the dough on your work surface until it is smooth and pliable.
Shape it into a ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a tea towel. Leave it to prove at room temperature for 40 minutes to one hour, or until doubled in size (this may take less or more time depending on the temperature in your kitchen).
Using a dough scraper, divide your dough into 100g lumps (75g for smaller breakfast / dinner rolls) and shape them into balls. Flour your baking trays with semolina (you can substitute non-stick baking parchment).
Place the buns at least 8cm apart on the trays, cover, and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Glaze the buns with your milk and cream mixture. Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden and baked through. Leave to cool on a wire rack. These buns are best eaten within a day or two of making.