European-Style Crusty Rolls... I've been looking for a crusty bread roll recipe for the longest time. I simply love crusty rolls that have a tender crumb inside. And I'm not talking about your typical soft dinner rolls... nor am I talking about the rolls that have a chewy crust where you need to tug at them. These rolls are special.
The rolls have a crust that is crispy and crunchy rather than chewy... and they have a wonderful soft tender crumb. They remind me of a cross between a good french bread and a baguette. Oh, and the flavor is unbelievable! I've been on the lookout for this type of bread roll for years... and I mean years! And you can see I'm quite excited:). I just had to share it with you...
Interestingly, I had given up on ever baking this type of bread roll at home... simply because I never really found a recipe that looked good enough to try. I wanted a crispy roll... wasn't looking for a chewy crust or super hard crust. I wanted rolls that were like those you tend to find in bread bakeries all over Paris or other European bakeries. I realize I'm not good at describing this roll... but it's the best I can do.
And so, this past week, while looking at a favorite blog, I noticed a recipe for the type of roll I had been searching all these years. The title sure sounded promising... Hard European-style Crusty Rolls. Why, that's exactly what I wanted to make. The pictures looked just as promising... it had to be good. And I was willing to set aside a day to make them. On top of it all... it came from a reputable bread source... none other than King Arthur Flour.
And the result? The rolls were amazing... exactly what I had been looking for all these years! Oh, and they are simply delicious. They have such a great flavor from the starter... slightly mimics the tang in a sourdough bread. Not tangy, mind you, as a sourdough... but different enough, that lets you know it's not your typical quick risen bread.
I have gladly stopped my search for crusty rolls. So grateful to KAF... for sharing such a beauty of a recipe. Here's another recipe that needs to be shared with you all. Definitely a favorite! And it needs it's place in my recipe index. Hope you enjoy...
Note: This recipe needs quite a few hours of "idle" time. It's best to bake this bread on a day when you have things to do around the house. While you don't need to do a lot of hands on per se... the bread dough does need plenty of time to rest, rise, cool and bake.... something like 6 hours(that's not including the overnight starter). I ended up shortening the cool rise in the fridge by an hour and still got outstanding results.
Tip: Rolls can be frozen after baking... and the rolls re-crisp to amazing crunch in the toaster oven.
Makes 12 small rolls
Overnight Starter (room temperature):
1/2 cup cool water
1 cup(4 1/4 oz) all purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)*
1/8 tsp instant yeast
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 oz) all purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)*
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
all of the starter from above
* make sure you fluff up the flour and then scoop if not using scale, as that is what I ended up doing. I put the scale amounts for those who need it.
1/3 cup water
1 egg white
The Night Before Make Starter:
1. In a bowl, mix the starter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.
Second Day Morning:
1. In bowl of a standing mixer bowl, combine the dough ingredients and starter from the night before.
2. With dough hook, knead for 7-8 minutes... until dough is somewhat smooth and soft.... and just tacky to the touch. You may need to add a couple of tablespoons of water at the beginning of kneading if you find the dough is too stiff... or a couple of tablespoons of flour at the end of kneading if the dough is too soft.
3. Shape dough in a ball and place dough in oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place. After 1 hour... gently deflate dough (it won't have risen much), cover again and allow to rise for another 1 hour. Gently deflate and gather dough from ends and bring it to the center, cover and allow to rise one more hour another. Total rising time is 3 hours.
4. Place dough on an oiled counter and divide dough into 12 pieces. Shape dough pieces into balls. I just like to grab a lime size piece of dough from the bowl and shape into a ball eliminating the oiled counter.
5. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with an oiled piece of plastic wrap.
6. Let rolls rise for 1 to 2 hours in a warm place ( left mine for 1.5 hours) until they're puffy... almost but not quite doubled.
7. After the 1-2 hour rise time, place rolls in the refrigerator for another 2 to 3 hours. I ran out of time and left mine in the fridge for only 1.5 hours.
1/2 hour before baking: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
1. Whisk together the egg white and water until frothy.
2. Remove rolls from the refrigerator, and brush them with the egg wash... Don't worry, you will not use all of egg wash.
3. With a VERY sharp knife, slash a 1/4-1/2 inch deep cut across the top of each roll.
4. Immediately place the rolls in the preheated oven.... middle rack.
5. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're a deep golden brown.
6. Remove rolls from the oven, and cool on a rack. I left mine only for 20 minutes, and turned off oven and allowed the rolls to cool off in the oven with the door wide open.
Tip: For best crunch, open the oven door, and allow the rolls to cool in the turned-off, open-door oven.