The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

French Rolls

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

French Rolls

Hi all,


Can anyone recommend a French-style dinner roll recipe?  Something that is crusty (but also relatively easy to tear), has an airy crumb and preferably uses some percentage of whole wheat/rye flour.  I've tried making rolls from my two standard sourdoughs (pain au levain complet et pain au levain from Leader's books) but, while the bread is great, the crust is simply too strong to tear when formed into a 3 oz roll and baked at 400F.  I've not tried substituting pate fermentee for stiff levain but I have thought about it.  At this point, my next attempt will be pain du campain from BBA or one of the liquid levain recipes from Leader's Bread Alone.  Any other thoughts are greatly appreciated!


Thanks.

mcs's picture
mcs

I use my Rustic White recipe for dinner rolls and it works pretty well.  It's mostly white with a little bit of rye and whole wheat.  I'm not sure it's exactly what you're looking for, but if you'd like to check it out, email me at the bakery and I can give you a looksie. 
Another thing is you might want to bump up your temp. slightly when you're baking rolls to give them a hard crust/color without making them too solid (maybe from 400 to 425).  Treat them more like baguettes than a loaf of bread.


-Mark

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Mark,


Your comment about the temperature for baking rolls really piqued my interest, and made me want to ask you about other temperatures you favor for other bread types.


I know it's presumptuous of me to ask, but if I don't ask I know I won't learn anything. In any case, please pardon the presumption. Would it be possible for you to draw up small table, a really basic table, of temperatures you bake certain breads at? Also, do you, can you, change the oven temperature in the bakery the way you do at home? (Or perhaps you don't need to bake at home?)


Thanks for any information,


Soundman (David)

mcs's picture
mcs

David,
Those are good questions-I'll post regarding that on Saturday.


-Mark

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Thanks, Mark!


My appreciation in advance for your efforts. We TFL bakers do know how lucky we are to have your advice, written and visual, and your rich hands-on experience available here to learn from!


Soundman (David)

mcs's picture
mcs

Hey there David,
I'm going to say a little bit about this table, and then start another thread since I think it'll end up straying away from the topic of French Rolls. 
First off, this is a table I just compiled after your question and it's all based on the baked stuff I'm currently making in a convection oven.  The generally accepted conversion to a standard oven would be adding 25 degrees to these temperatures.  When I was putting together this table, I realized there was something I needed to say about the color of the finished product and so I created the table below using my Rustic White as an example. 
That being said, as you can see if I were to cook rolls at 405 (22 minutes) for the required doneness (as measured by internal temperature), the color would be Dark Gold instead of Dark Brown (as the loaves would be).  I know this is a no-brainer, but I'll post some pictures in another thread to elaborate some more as I think Howard's post with Bernard Clayton's recipe below may have answered cdnDough's original question.
-Mark



-Mark


 


 


 


 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Thanks, Mark!


I'm trying to keep from tripping over all the new questions your table is bringing to mind.


First, I appreciate your discipline to stay on-message: this is a French Rolls thread, and I shouldn't be hijacking it. So, indeed, if you can respond on another thread I think a lot of us will benefit.


The top portion of the table, banner "Cooking Temperature", is straightforward and very helpful. I am intrigued by the difference in temperature between Croissants and Puff Pastry. Perhaps you could explain that further?


Another question: since I almost always use my oven in convection-mode, I gather I should be adjusting my temperatures downward by 25 degrees? I know I've read this before, but I thought I might decrease my oven spring if I heeded it. 


Looking at the table parts together: can you judge when your rolls, or loaves, are done by color? I wish I could do that! It appears to me that you allow your "artisan type dough" to bake longer and hotter than the Rustic White. Is it 1) the dough type, 2) the size of the product, 3) the desired internal temperature, or 4) the desired outcome color that influences these variables?


I look forward to a new thread from you on the general topic of oven temperatures and various baking products.


Before signing off, also off-topic, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say that one of the best tips I have gotten in years of bread baking comes from one of the shaping techniques you use in your videos: the little push-pull-roll you use at the end of shaping. That little motion is the best thing I've ever seen for sealing the seam!


Keep up the great baking, and thanks again,


Soundman (David)

mcs's picture
mcs

I made a new thread over here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9870/baking-times-and-temperatures when I felt like I was dragging the topic away from French Rolls.


-Mark

johnster's picture
johnster

I would love to see your temperature suggestions, too!  I have been fighting to get the crispiness that I'm after, and it's really been eluding me since we moved (and got this new oven....)  My main focus is the very lean French and Italian breads.


 


Looking forward to your post!


Johnster


 

holds99's picture
holds99

Here's a post I did on Bernard Clayton's S.S. France rolls that are really good, which I posted a while back.  They easy and quite good. 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6482/petite-pain-rolls-ss-france-bernard-clayton039s-recipe


If you don't have Bernard Clayton's book and are interested in the recipe e-mail me and I'll send it to you.


holds99@bellsouth.net


Howard


 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Nice post, Howard!


The recipe and description gave us another reason not to mix our dough too aggressively -- unforgiving gluten! Thanks also for bringing back those sweet nostalgic memories of moonlit romantic cruises on the good ol' S.S. Walmart!


Soundman (David)

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

Thanks Howard.  I just borrowed Clayton's book from the library.  I'll give the rolls a try this week.

sonya28's picture
sonya28

This one seems very very tasty: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Bread-Rolls-to-Die-For/Detail.aspx. I personally haven't tried it, but I may give it a go.


French Open 2009

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

I bake mine in a La Cloche. If you don't need too many rolls, it works well with white dough or doughs with some WW or rye.

Pam

richawatt's picture
richawatt

I you are wanting to make a softer roll, you are almost dealing with a double edged blade.  In order to have a softer crumb you need to add some sugar, fat, of a lower gluten flour, such as whole wheat or rye.  But by doing so you are comprimizing the crust.  I would try using a hard roll recipe and don't egg wash it so you still get some crust but maintain a soft roll