Monday, December 3, 2012

Crusty Rolls

One of my favorite and easiest recipes is crusty bread. It's delicious and tastes like bread they give you at a restaurant. I love buttering it for breakfast toast, dipping it in olive oil with dinner, or making it into french toast. It's crusty on the outside but deliciously dense on the inside. I was recently asked to bring bread to our company potluck Christmas party. I knew I wanted to introduce my coworkers with this incredible bread.

But a big loaf of crusty bread isn't very potluck friendly... The bread is incredible, but it's difficult to cut and makes a mess of crumbs.

So, I decided to see if I could replicate the crusty bread but in roll form. My thought was I could do everything the same with the dough - mix it, leave it overnight, knead it and roll it in flour - but when it got time to let it sit for 30 minutes while the dutch oven was warming, I rolled the dough into 8 rolls.

More specifically, when I got the dough out this morning, after the dutch oven was in the oven, I rolled 8 balls in flour and covered them with plastic wrap. When it was time, I placed them in the dutch oven, covered them with the lid, and let them bake!

In case you don't want to click over, here's the recipe I used with a few adjustments to make the rolls.

Easy Crusty Rolls
Original recipe adapted from Simply So Good
3 cups unbleached flour
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

Mix dry ingredients together well. Add the water and mix until a very sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 12-18 hours. I left mine for about 16 hours in the laundry room because it's a little warmer and not quite as drafty as the kitchen.

After 12-18 hours pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. The original recipe calls for an oven temperature of 450, but I've found that 425 is better.

While the oven is pre-heating, knead the dough on a floured surface. It will be very sticky - use lots of flour! When the oven is pre-heated, put your empty covered dutch oven in it. Leave the dutch oven in the oven for 30 minutes.

While it is heating, divide the dough into 8 even balls. Cover with plastic wrap and be sure the balls don't touch.

Once the dutch oven is warm, drop the dough balls so that they form an even layer. Don't grease it or anything, just toss them in the dutch oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.


 If eating immediately, allow to cool slightly on a rack before pulling apart. If you'll be enjoying them later, wait until they are completely cool before pulling apart. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

What other bread should I make our our office party? What's your favorite bread?
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