Those who follow my baking adventures know that my favorite type of bread is a sourdough boule, medium to large size.  For some odd reason, when I want to bake small rolls, I always opt for recipes that use  commercial yeast, and result in a softer, more buttery bread.  That is now changed.  I used one of my favorite basic sourdough recipes to bake 6 small rolls, shaped exactly like a large one, and similarly scored.   They turned out so good, I might switch to this type of format for a while. Plus, each roll can be frozen for later, brought to room temperature for a few minutes, then placed in a very low oven (250 F) for 15 minutes or so.  Perfect bread whenever you feel like it!  😉

(adapted from Hamelman’s Bread)

for starter mixture (make 12 hours in advance)
100 g bread flour
80 g rye flour
110 g water
40 g active sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)

for the bread:
all sourdough made as above
700 g bread flour
20 g rye flour
470 g water
15 g salt

Prepare your sourdough mixture about 12 hours before making the dough.  Heat the water slightly in a microwave until it is lukewarm, and place it in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer.  Add the sourdough into the water and mix with your hands to dissolve it. Add both flours, and mix at low-speed until the ingredients form a shaggy mass.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.   Sprinkle the salt over, turn the mixer back on low-speed and knead for about 4 minutes.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rise for about 2 and a half hours, folding the dough every 50 minutes. For a more detailed explanation on folding, click here. You will do a first folding cycle at 50 minutes, another one at 1 hour and 40 minutes, then leave it undisturbed for additional 50 minutes, for a total of 2 and a half hours fermentation.

Heat your oven to 450 F. Divide the dough in 6 equal pieces.   Shape each one as a small boule.  Place over floured parchment paper on a baking sheet, flour the surface lightly and cover.  Allow the rolls to proof for 45 minutes.  Score the surface,  and bake for 25 minutes (with initial steam) or until golden brown and the internal temperature over 205 F.   Cool completely on a rack.


to print the recipe, click here

risingComments:  Depending on the method of steam you use for your oven, these rolls can be a breeze to bake.  I decided to use my usual method of inverting a damp roasting pan over the rolls, and to do that I needed to bake three rolls at a time.  Let’s say it was a bit too convoluted and the second batch was slightly over-proofed.  Next time I might just go for a less complicated method, and use a baking pan with hot water at the bottom of the oven.  Whatever method you choose, the steam provides a nicer crust.

The crumb was moist and creamy, the way we like it, and the crust reminded us of the fantastic baguettes we used to enjoy while living in Paris…  What’s not to like?   😉

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting

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Rustic, toothsome, flavorful, and if all that wasn’t enough, these rolls are a cinch to make.  In a classic Dan Lepard’s approach, the recipe calls for minimal kneading, and because they are baked as small rolls, shaping is  a breeze.  The rolls also freeze quite well,  individually wrapped, then placed in a low oven to come back to that freshly baked feel.

Per Mr. Lepard’s request,  I won’t post the full recipe.  But you can find it in the database of “The Guardian”  through a quick jump here.

I will, however, give you a quick outline of how this recipe comes together….

The cornmeal needs to be soaked in boiling water for a few minutes, once you do that, all ingredients – soaked cornmeal, spelt flour, water, honey, and yeast – are added to a large bowl, mixed quickly, and left standing for 10 minutes.

A kneading cycle of 30 seconds, a 20-minute rise (yes, that fast…), and you are ready to divide and conquer… rather, divide and shape in 8 rolls.

After shaping, they rest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour.  Only 45 minutes to go before baking time!

Once they bake, they will more or less join together, let them cool this way, breaking them apart at serving time.

Adorable little rolls, dense, but in a good way… 😉  We enjoyed them in  sandwiches – smoked turkey & provolone,  ham, cheese, tomato & pesto sauce – but also as plain small bites with our dinner of roast chicken. They will certainly be a favorite in your home too!

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting event…

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