Some unusual things turn up when you’re looking for something elsewhere. Advancing shades of Don Quixote I fear.

I was searching amongst the horizontal metres of cookbooks – a quantity of invaluable publications that my family frequently find time to pillory – in a vain attempt to remind myself of a particular book, along with its apposite page, that harboured an untried but vaguely remembered recipe. The familiar rummage (my cook books never stay in strict library classification) was to locate a savoury biscuit, an amuse-bouche that had previously caught my eye.

Eventually, on a trawl through Charles Campion’s Eat Up – Seeking Out the Best of British Home Cooking, I met with success.

When the time comes, forget domestic carers. If I ever move house and require social services to provide assistance, you can forego handles alongside the toilet or a panic button over the bath, I should like a sturdy wall of bespoke bookshelves, a rolling ladder and a full-time library assistant. Don’t smirk, if our present occupant of Number 10 can indent for wallpaper that’s just shy of £1000 a roll, I could well be in with a chance.

I’d certainly spend more time cooking if I spent less time hand-to-hand fighting with my haphazard system.

Anyway, my relief at locating the said biscuit recipe was once again thrown into disarray as, whilst foolishly flicking a few pages ahead, I found a left-of-field bread-making technique that simply mesmerised.

Now the late Charles Campion was not a man to argue with. He was one of our notable homegrown recidivists who had the foresight to run a restaurant (albeit commercially unsuccessful) before turning to mischievous food writing (which proved a great success).

The recipe is for simple bread rolls, with a counter-intuitive instruction to insert “briefly proven dough into a stone-cold oven” . This had anxiety written all over it. But when he assures the reader, commending a recipe that is “suspiciously simple, but do not fear, it does work…” one banks the guarantee and warms up the dough hook.

I cannot pretend that I was not a little wary when approaching the oven door after a nominal 20 minutes, but, hats off to Mr Campion – it really does work. And it really is simple.

Simple Bread Rolls. From Eat Up – Seeking Out the Best of British Cooking (2010) Charles Campion

Makes 12 (generous) rolls

650 g strong white flour

650 g wholemeal flour

1 tbsp dried yeast

1 tbsp caster sugar

80 g hard vegetable margarine

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

850 ml tepid water

Put the flour, yeast, sugar, margarine, olive oil and salt into the bowl of a food processor

Use the dough hook and set it running as you add the water

Mix for 3 – 5 minutes until you have an even-textured dough

Line an oven sheet with some baking parchment

Form the dough into a dozen rolls and arrange on the parchment

Set aside to prove – they should double in size – for about 45 minutes

Put the rolls into a cold oven

Turn the oven on, set at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6

Check the rolls after 20 minutes, they will probably be done although precise timings vary from oven to oven.

To be absolutely sure, break a roll open and check