Bettys Classic White Bread Rolls and the GBBO

Wednesday 24 August 2016

 photo Bettys Baking Secrets ident_zpsswblamou.jpg

For nearly 100 years, people have been flocking to Yorkshire for a taste of Bettys. Bettys was founded by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss baker and confectioner who came to England in search of opportunities to develop his craft skills. He opened his first Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate in 1919 and named it 'Bettys'. The reason why remains a mystery to this day.

Lots of things have changed since then. They now have six Café Tea Rooms in Yorkshire and the Bettys name has become famous the world over. They have also added a mail order service which delivers deliciousness to homes from Tunbridge Wells to Tokyo, and they share their knowledge and passion for food through Bettys Cookery School.

But in other ways, they are unchanged. Still family-owned, they believe in doing business in a way that is fair to people and kind to the planet. And at their Craft Bakery in Harrogate they still practice the artisan skills that Frederick Belmont brought to Yorkshire from Switzerland nearly 100 years ago.

Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book!

This week they are sharing their recipe for Classic Bread Rolls with us.   After watching the video, I think even I will be able to bake  us some lovely rolls!

*Classic White Bread Rolls*
the Betty's way
Makes 8
400g strong white flour (3 cups)
35g butter (2 1/2 TBS)
5 g sea salt (1 tsp)
8 g fresh yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
110ml whole milk (scant half cup)
110ml water (scant half cup)

To Decorate:
20ml whole milk (1 12 TBS)
1 egg, beaten
selection of poppyseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
1.  Place the flour and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it is fully mixed through.
2.  Add the yeast to the milk and water and mix with a fork.  Allow to stand until the yeast has dissolved before adding this to the dry ingredients.
3.  Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients, together with the dissolved yeast.  Work the mixture together until it forms a ball of dough, and tip ou tonto a work surface.
4.  Knead gently for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth.
5.  Allow the ball of dough to rest under a slightly damp cklean tea-towel for 5 minutes.
6.  Roll the dough into a sausage shape first and, using the scraper, divide th edough into 8 evenly sized pieces.  Roll each into a round shape.  Allow the dough to relax again for five minutes under a damp tea-towel or clingfilm before making each ball into a shape.
7.  When the dough has been shaped, carefully place onto a baking tray.
8.  Brush the dough with a little egg/milk mixture and sprinkle with seeds of your choice.
9.  Place the tray in the prover or leave in a warm place covered with clingilm for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.
10.Bake the bread in a preheated oven at 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6 (fan assisted) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, (depending on shape.)
11.The bread is baked when golden brown in colour and when tapped underneath they should sound hollow.  Place on a cooling wire.
~o~Beautiful Bread~o~

When kneading, always work the dough in the same direction. This will deveop the network of gluten strands.

To avoid sticking to your dough, use the one second contact rule - don't touch your dough for more than a second as you knead it

Imprint your dough with your thumb - if it springs back, its ready.

This stage is really important - what you're trying to do is trap energy in the dough.

When Lisa holds up the underside of the balled off dough, you can see the swirls of the core - yet the top is smooth.

The  movement you're looking for is down and over.  Notice in our film how Lisa pushes slightly down and she rotates the dough in her palm, travelling in the same direction.

If you don't hav ea dedicated prover, few of us do, its easy to create one.

Simply take a bowl, turn it upside down in your sink, add hot water and your tray of dough, and cove rwith some cling fim.

Do you get tangled up in clingfilm?  Than fold it back on itself to double line it - it prevents it from misbehaving!

Allow the dough a final 10% to finish the race.  In other words, remove the dough from the prover a little before it has completely risen.

This is because the yeast needs a last bit of energy to take into the oven for a perfect rice.

When cooling your bread, make sure there's an airflor under the tray.

This prevents soggy bottoms!

Do check out the Betty's Baking Secrets Page, for a whole lot more baking secrets during the GBBO and beyond.   Also don't forget to check back next week to see what's baking next!  (With any luck I might even get it baked myself to show you my results!  There is no rest for the wicked!!)


  1. Lucky you and a new season of TGBB)..I will have to watch later ..we've just come home..but I will catch up on this video you are sharing..TY!

    1. I learned so much from this video Monique! I am going to give them a go! Yes, we are very lucky about the GBBO! I recorded it and will watch today sometime! xo

  2. Yum. My grandmother was a pastry chef and we think she may have done some work at Betty's. Unfortunately she passed away so long ago that no one can prove it.

    1. Its possible that they might have records of who worked there. What was your grandmothers name? Maybe I could find out? xo

  3. Ohhh, what a beautiful big sink! Love it. Here in the US kitchens usually have a divided sink unless it's customized. I use a pan of hot water under the rack in my unheated oven to proof my bread. If I am ever fortunate enough to travel to the UK Betty's is definitely on my list of places to visit. Looks like a foodie paradise!

    1. I live here in the UK and its on my to visit list Strictly! I would love to take one of their classes! xo

    2. I've enjoyed your blog so much that when I get my plane tickets *someday* I'll email you and arrange to treat you to tea at Betty's!

    3. That sounds like a plan and apromise Strictly! I'll hold you to it! xo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!