Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crusty Hard Dinner Rolls

Crusty Hard Dinner Rolls. This title could be construed two ways: crusty and hard like break your teeth off crusty and hard, or crusty and hard as in it's is useful for mopping soup out of bowl. Fortunately for us, the latter definition describes these rolls, which have a great crust (although it actually isn't that hard). I've made this recipe two times, and its becoming one of my favorites for a few reasons:

  1. It's easy. Water, flour, yeast, salt. Mix 'em together and let 'em do their thing.
  2. You can bake the rolls on your schedule. It takes me three days to make them, but there's minimal effort required and you aren't constantly timing them.
  3. They're forgiving and still come out looking beautiful. Sure, you can take the time to measure each piece of dough when you divide it to make the rolls so all or uniform, but if you're a little rushed you can always eyeball the amount. Also, the slash and egg glaze you add right before baking result in a nicely browned crust that makes for a wow factor at the table. These rolls really look like they came from a bakery.
  4. They taste good. Since the recipe calls for a starter and an extended stay in the fridge, the rolls develop a nice flavor. It's  not as complex as a sourdough, but not flavorless, either.

I think four reasons is enough to bake this bread. Not surprisingly, I got it from the King Arthur Flour website. I follow the recipe very closely, so I'm not going to re-post it here, but you can see the recipe for Crusty Hard Rolls at the KAF website.

However, I will include my baking timeline so you can see that these rolls can be made to fit your schedule.

10 p.m. Saturday night-- Mix the starter. (I meant to do it earlier in the day but was busy with errands, chores, and work. Then I went to The Blue Cow for dinner-- thanks Anna for the invite- the food was fabulous).

1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon-- Mix the dough. To kill time during the first hour of the rise, I exercised. After turning the dough, I sat myself on the couch and read/watched tv for another 2 hours until the dough was ready to be shaped.

4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon-- Shaped the rolls & put them in the fridge to chill overnight.

6 p.m. Monday evening-- But the pan of rolls in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then turned off the oven, cracked the door, and let the bread cool in the oven.

8:30 p.m. Monday evening-- Reserved two rolls for Tuesday night's dinner and then  put the rest in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer. (Reason #5 that I love this recipe is that it freezes really well).

6 p.m. Tuesday evening-- Ate the rolls with Potato and Canadian Bacon Chowder. Yum...

Once again, here's the link to the Crusty Hard Dinner Rolls recipe at King Arthur Flour's website.

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