Posts Tagged ‘sourdough rolls’

I’ve been playing around with a new bread formula.

It’s a lower hydration (69%) version of my ciabatta con semola rimacinata di grano duro, and it’s proven (no pun intended) to be a good base dough for shaping.

  • 300g active sourdough starter (fed at a ratio of one cup water to one cup flour)
  • 580g cold water
  • 500g bakers/bread flour
  • 500g Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro (remilled durum wheat semolina flour)
  • 18g fine sea salt

Note: don’t be tempted to use fine or coarse semolina instead of remilled semolina (durum wheat) flour – the former is too coarse and won’t absorb enough water, and you’ll end up with a soggy mess. If you can’t find the rimacinata, substitute more bread flour or 00 flour in its place and reduce the water to 550g.

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I’ve been experimenting with a new shape, inspired by this photo sent to me by my friend Anna in Paris.  It’s known as La Sarmentine – a sarmenteux is a climbing plant, and Anna thinks the name might be related to that.

The bread is made by shaping a long baguette and then using scissors to cut a slit into the ends of each loaf to allow them to be separated into “ears”.  I was really happy with the crumb…

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Also, inspired by Brydie’s quest, I’ve used this dough to make Italian style rolls.  After half a dozen phone calls, I finally tracked down a rosetta stamp at Chefs’ Warehouse (and I’m still wondering why I didn’t just call them first!).

The dough was shaped into 125g balls, before being imprinted with the cutter. Each batch of dough made 15 rolls…

Shape the bulk proved dough into a tight ball first, then dust the top well with rye flour and stamp hard – right through to the bottom of the ball.  Dip the cutter into rye flour before each press, and allow the rolls to prove a second time before baking. I didn’t manage to achieve a hollow centre, but Small Man did declare at dinner that he thought these were my “best breads ever”…

I now own three cutters – the rosetta stamp, plus a couple of German made metal ones which were a gift from the lovely Chris (who is not cranky, despite what his girls call him)…

I haven’t had much success with the small metal star-shaped one yet, but the spiral one has produced amazing rolls, which look like small sculptures…

This new dough recipe has been very popular – we’ve had the neighbours over filling large paper bags with rolls for school lunches…

Playing with bread is always such fun – thanks Brydie, Anna and Chris for inspiring this latest baking adventure!

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Every weekend, I bake two large trays of sourdough bread rolls specifically for school lunches.

I make these using a simple folding and cutting technique, which I find much easier than more traditional methods for shaping individual rolls.  The end result is a flat, oval roll which will hold a substantial amount of filling and withstand the rigours of a tossed backpack.

After baking, each roll weighs between 95 – 105g, the equivalent of three slices of bread.  Filled with ricotta and smoked salmon, or in Small Man’s case, Vegemite, they’re the perfect size for school lunches.

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After the dough has had its first rise, knock it back and stretch it  out on a lightly oiled surface into a rectangle.  The piece below weighed 1200g.

Fold one side of the dough in as shown…

…then fold the other side in over the top.

Using a serrated knife or a dough cutter, slice the dough into pieces.  I cut 10 rolls from my 1200g of dough, judging the size of each piece by eye rather than bothering to weigh them.

Lay the rolls out on a lined baking tray. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the top of the rolls, and then cover with a tea towel.  Allow to prove.

Before baking, I give each roll a single slash with my lame.  I’m not convinced it makes any difference, given that my dough hydration is quite high, but it does make me feel like a proper baker when I get to wave my razor blade around.

These rolls freeze beautifully, which means I can bake a large batch once a week.  And the boys love them – Small Man has already eaten two rolls off the cooling rack!   Better get them in the freezer now, or I’ll have to bake another lot tomorrow…

Edit: a crumb shot for Sally!

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Most days the bread is more than good enough to eat, and some days it is so good that we eat nothing else.

Jeffrey Steingarten, The Man Who Ate Everything

Today is one of those days when the bread is so good that I really don’t want to eat anything else.  I kneaded up a batch of sourdough last night, using my current favourite mix – 85% white bakers flour to 15% dark organic rye – and left it to prove on the bench overnight in a covered plastic container.  Here’s what greeted me this morning at 5am..


I baked two 750g loaves for school lunches and some small rolls to take to El and Peter’s today for a barbeque lunch.  The rolls were simply cut from a log of dough and flattened out onto a tray, but they are absolutely perfect.  They’re crispy on the outside with an airy, holey crumb and a sublime flavour that beautifully complements Pete’s homemade butter (which he made last night, so it’s super fresh).  I wonder if it’s bad form to go to lunch and just eat bread?


Hope you’re all having an equally enjoyable Sunday!

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