Sunday, July 10, 2011

Herb Rolls

Shavua tov! Things are heating up here in Jerusalem in an unbearable way. Shabbat was particularly brutal, especially when walking to and from shul and meals in the blazing heat. I find myself staying home and hanging around in my apartment all day just to avoid the heat! In any case, seeing as I was home again for Shabbat, I decided, along with the challah, to bake some rolls. I've been wanting to make herb rolls again ever since I made them for a Purim Seuda years ago in Bar Ilan, adapted from one from KAF. A thorough search in my recipe box for the index card with the recipe neatly written on it turned up nothing. So it was back to the drawing board. A cursory glance through my bread books yielded nothing. Then I thought to look through Bernard Clayton's thorough bread book. My copy is still in the states, but I did a search through Amazon's look inside the book feature. My search turned up a recipe called Six Herb bread. Perfect! Well, almost, considering I didn't have all those herbs. But I decided to use it as a jumping off point and adapt it. That's exactly what I did. I omitted the sugar from the recipe, used regular oil, and used some dried rosemary, dried thyme and a touch of caraway. I made the dough and let it rise overnight in the fridge. The next day, I took the opportunity to try my hand at shaping different types of rolls. The rolls turned out really well! The flavor of rosemary dominated, but it was mellowed out by the baking and at some points I got a lovely hit of caraway. (I gotta start using it more!) I enjoyed it mostly with Matbucha, a mild to spicy tomato spread, and stashed the leftovers in the freezer. These rolls are headed off to Yeastspotting!
Herb Rolls
adapted from Bernard Clayton's Book of Breads

3-3 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp caraway seeds, optional
1 1/4 cup water
1 tbsp oil, olive or canola
Place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl,
and whisk to combine.
Add the water and oil,
and stir with your hands to make a shaggy dough. Allow to rest for about ten minutes. Knead the mixture until a smooth dough is formed.
Form it into a round and place in a greased bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
The next day, remove the dough from the fridge.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and deflate it.
Using a bench scraper, scale the dough into pieces.
Shape as desired. Alternately form into a sandwich loaf or a free form loaf.
Allow to proof until about doubled. Towards the end of proofing, preheat the oven to 350. Feel free to glaze with egg wash. 
The rolls won't have colored much, but bake until a thermometer registers at least 190 degrees. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in a plastic bag once cool. 

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