14 January 2011
not-so-rustic sun dried tomato rolls
I've bookmarked a particular recipe for rustic olive rolls I saw on a blog before, well over a year ago. Since I had recently purchased some items from Oh Nuts, I decided to use the sun dried tomatoes I bought. What I liked about these is that they aren't packed in oil, yet they are soft.
The taste of these is great. A little acidic, but extremely tomatoey. What I like about these is that you have a greater option of how to use them, either packing them in oil yourself (much cheaper), adding to recipes sans oil, turning them into a pesto, and much more. The good part is that you don't need to soak them in hot water to get them soft because they already are.
The first step to creating these rolls is the sponge, which sets for 14 hours. I was a bit lazy so it ended up sitting for around 18 hours and it still worked out. The sponge is what adds that artisan flavor and rustic texture.
The next day, the sponge is added to more water, olive oil, yeast (the sponge had only 1/16 teaspoon, though I doubled the recipe so it had 1/8th), bread flour, and salt. I added a pinch of sugar.
To add more flavor I used 2 teaspoons of Penzeys Spice Bouquet Garni and I think 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
So why are these not-so-rustic? Well, I ran out of bread flour. I had made 3 batches of no-knead bread the beginning of the month and it used it all up. At least the sponge had bread flour. For the rest of the loaf, I used all-purpose flour and 1 cup of high gluten finely ground whole wheat flour with a tablespoon of wheat gluten.
Since all-purpose flour has less protein than bread flour, which aids in the lift and chewy texture of artisan breads. All-purpose is a mix of both high and low gluten flours. Tender cookies? Tender cakes? That's what the lower protein does. Oh well.
The bread had a great texture and kneaded well. Note to everyone: Cut my nails before making bread.
At this point, the dough was smelling great thanks to the herbs.
Once the dough was kneaded for 10 minutes and had a smooth feel, I chopped 20 sun dried tomatoes (I would suggest preparing ahead of time so that the chopping is finished before you make the bread) and kneaded them in. I wanted the dough to be stained red from the tomatoes so that it would look prettier. Next, the dough rises.
After the rise, you gently deflate and portion into rolls. I'm not sure if I weighed each piece or eyeballed, I think it was the latter. Since I doubled the recipe I ended up with about 14 rolls. The original recipe makes 6 so I probably made them a bit too small. Once I finished, I let them rise for about another hour.
I'll note that the recipe had the rolls rise on on a cotton dish cloth to maintain a rectangular shape, though since I wasn't making rectangular rolls I let them rise directly on the baking sheet, which I lightly greased and sprinkled with cornmeal, dusting the rolls with flour before covering.
The kitchen had a great aroma as these baked. I remember eating a sun dried bread at a cafe in downtown Grand Rapids a long time ago, and I hoped these would be similar. Texture-wise they didn't come out rustic at all because of the flour issue, but they were still very delicious. The flavors were more mellow than I had expected, though I'm sure you wouldn't want them to be overpowering if you ate them with soup or dinner. I would suggest slicing in half and toasting for breakfast.
Rustic Olive Rolls, King Arthur Flour