Heavenly "hard rolls"
Sometimes I just want to dance around singing "Heaven, I'm in heaven ..." when I make bread. Yesterday was one of those days. I finally got the "hard rolls" I've been looking for. Rolls that have a thin but hard crust and pillowy innards with just the right amount of chewiness. Makes this displaced Connecticut Yankee all happy. It's gonna be harder and harder to keep my circumference less than my height.
I think the two magic bullets were Pivetti 00 Rinzfornato flour and stretch-and-fold at 45 minute intervals. (Thank you Stan at nybakers.com for making the flour available in 5-lb bags and thank you Mike at sourdoughhome.com for the 45 minute stretch and fold videos.)
Formula for 12 kaiser-sized rolls:
700 g Pivetti 00 Rinzfornato flour
12 g salt
8 g yeast
490 g water (70%)
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Stir in water with a spoon until a ragged mass forms and all lose flour is incorporated but don't worry too much about lumps -- similar to mixing biscuit dough. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.
On a lightly oiled surface, do one stretch-and-fold, working in or discarding any remaining dry lumps of flour, return to bowl, cover and let sit 45 minutes.
Do a second stretch-and-fold, return to bowl, cover and let sit 45 minutes.
Do a third stretch-and-fold, oil the bowl and return the dough to it, cover and let sit 45 minutes.
Divide into 12 equal pieces. Gently shape into balls and place on parchment paper for eventual baking. Let rest another 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Score a cross in the top of the rolls.
Paint the rolls with an egg wash (1 beaten egg +1 Tbl. water) and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Wait 2 minutes and repeat egg wash and poppy seeds.
Bake for 35 minutes or until they are golden and the interior temperature is 200F.
Then try not to eat so many of them that you need a derrick to get out of your chair. We had them for broiled eggplant/red-peppers/mushrooms, fresh-mozzi and arugula sandwichs last night. I had one with butter for dessert. And breakfast. Sigh.