Hops bread are Trinidadian bread rolls that have a great crusty top and are soft and fluffy on the inside. They’re also made with very little sugar which is great.
Tips for Successfully Making Hops Bread
- Check the best before date of the yeast that you’re using and make sure that it hasn’t expired. Using yeast that isn’t fresh or has expired will lead to your dough taking too long to rise or not rising at all.
- It’s important to use liquid that is the right temperature when making hops bread (and other bread) as yeast are living organisms and liquid temperature influences their activity. For dry yeast (i.e. instant and active dry yeast) the liquid temperature should be between 110°F – 115°F (43°C – 46°C) when dissolving the yeast in the liquid.
- If the liquid is too hot, it will destroy the yeast. If it’s too cold, it will slow down the activity of the yeast.
- This hops bread recipe uses water as the only liquid. Using water as the only liquid makes bread that has a super crispy crust and a wheaty taste. If you modify the recipe to use other liquid besides water, it will change the taste and texture of the bread so keep that in mind.
- If you end up with sticky dough, it could be that you didn’t use the right amount of flour. The correct way to measure flour is to scoop the flour with a measuring cup and scrape off the excess flour from the top of the measuring cup so that the flour is even with the rim of the measuring cup.
- If your dough is sticky due to not using enough flour, you can correct this by adding a little bit of flour at a time until the dough is the right consistency. However, using flour that’s too old or over kneading the dough can also result in sticky dough, so make sure that you’re using fresh flour and not over kneading the dough.
- The dough for this bread takes 5 minutes to knead; you’ll know that the dough is kneaded well enough when it’s smooth on the outside, is not sticky, and springs back when you use your finger to press on it.
How to Make Hops Bread
To make hops bread, combine 6 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) of instant yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of softened butter in a mixing bowl. Add 2½ cups of warm water to the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix it using a spoon to form the flour into a sticky dough. Measure out 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour. Use some of the flour to lightly flour a clean surface.
Turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead it, slowly adding the remaining flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky but still elastic. Grease a large bowl with a generous amount of oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen cloth to keep the dough from drying out. Place the bowl in a warm area and leave the dough for 40 minutes or until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough to release air out of it, then separate the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball with your hands, grease your hands with a bit of oil if the dough starts to stick to your hands. Put the dough balls on a greased baking pan, cover the pan with a damp kitchen cloth, place the pan in a warm area for 40 minutes to allow the dough balls to double in size.
I wanted my hops bread to come out looking like traditional bread rolls so I used a baking pan that would keep the rolls tightly pressed together. If you want your hops bread to be less pressed together and round on each side like the classic hops bread shape, then use a big baking pan that keeps the rolls more apart from each other.
Bake the bread in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Hops bread is best served warm. It’s typically eaten with butter or cheese but I like to have it with a dipping sauce of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Hops bread tends to harden within 3-5 days so plan to finish eating these rolls within that time frame.
- 6⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter softened
- 2½ cups warm water
- In a mixing bowl, combine 6 cups of the all-purpose flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, and butter.
- Add the water to the flour mixture a bit at a time. Mix the water with the flour using a spoon and form the flour into a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough, slowly adding the remaining flour to the dough until it’s smooth but still elastic.
- Grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, cover the bowl with a damp kitchen cloth and leave the bowl in a warm area for 40 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
- Punch down the dough then separate the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and put the dough balls onto a greased baking pan.
- Cover the pan with a damp kitchen cloth, place the pan in a warm area for 40 minutes or until the dough balls double in size.
- Bake the hops bread in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.