I'm quite happy to have some Scottish ancestry. It's led me to the dry and delicious world of scones, the simplicity of shortbread, the warm and satisfying bite of Scotch, and the utter tastiness of haggis. Now, it's led me to warm and tasty baps.
Scottish baps are simply bread rolls made with yeast. They must be kneaded and allowed to rise a few times before being flattened, left to raise again, and then pinched to keep them from rounding out while baking. They only need to be baked for 20-30 minutes, and they're the perfect sort of bread for beginner bakers. The recipe is incredibly easy, it familiarizes you with kneading and rising, and it is hard to mess up. The flavor of a bap is simple, yet rewarding. It tastes much like a freshly made biscuit while having the texture of a well-worked piece of bread. The outside is wonderfully crisp while the inside is soft, airy, and just waiting for a slab of butter.
There's really no limit to the foods that can be slid inside a bap, and Wise Geek notes that regional favorites include bacon batties (bacon, butter, and a brown sauce), baps served alongside Lincolnshire sausages, and fritter rolls that pile potato fritters inside.
Bap recipe after the jump.
Recipe taken from The Essential Baking Cookbook
Ingredients:1/4 ounce package of dried yeast (approx. 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp caster sugar
3 1/2 cups white bread flour + 2 extra tbsp
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 oz butter (3 tbsp) - melted
- Combine yeast, sugar, and 2 tbsp of flour in a small bowl. Gradually pour the milk in, stirring until smooth and dissolved. Let it rest in a warm place for 10 minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface. (Bubbles mean the yeast is active! If it doesn't bubble and foam, your yeast is dead and you've got to get perky yeast and try again.)
- While that's resting, sift salt and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour butter and yeast mixture in, then stir with a knife to form a soft dough.
- Knead the dough on a very lightly floured surface for 3 minutes, or until smooth. (It's not a very moist dough, so you shouldn't have problems with sticking.) Shape the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with saran, and let it rest for 1 hour until well risen.
- Preheat your oven to 415 degrees.
- Punch down the dough with your fist, then knead again for a few minutes. Divide the batter into 12 pieces, and knead one piece at a time for one about minute before flattening the dough into a circle/oval and moving on. (The dough will morph from malleable and light to smaller, stronger, and more firm.)
- Place all of the baps onto a lightly floured cookie sheet, lightly sprinkle with flour, cover in plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes until well risen.
- Use your finger to press down in the center of each bap to make an indent, and bake them in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until browned and cooked through. (Mine take about 25, in an oven slightly below 400 for most of the baking, so keep an eye on them.)