Either it was all my fault or Daniel Leder lied to me. It was probably my fault. You see I didn’t use his recipe, just his technique. Well, as usual, I didn’t really follow the recipe either. But… he said in his book Local Breads that you could turn the ciabatta loaves into rolls that would be perfect for sandwiches. Well maybe Daniel Leder has been through Weight Watchers because these rolls came out dinner roll size. Not at all what I would have thought of as sandwich size at all. Unless you are still after six months reducing your portion sizes like a good little girl and eating the exact proper serving of bread. Yep, my delusions of grandeur were yet again reduced to… well… propriety. Good for me I guess, since I am still trying to lose weight, grumble, grumble, grumble…
Perhaps I am complaining for nothing. What these rolls lack in size they make up for in flavor. I used whole-wheat flour for the sponge and although this is probably a tactical error when it comes to ciabatta (you see, you want big holes and whole-wheat flour is a dense and wily beast), it sure gave my rolls a wonderful nutty flavor. I’m thinking that I’ll probably double the size of the rolls next time, take the hit for a double serving of bread, and have the sandwich rolls of my dreams. For now, I have wonderful dinner rolls. Now if only I had some soup.
Oh, and by the way, if you love bread, check out YeastSpotting on Susan’s Wild Yeast blog. It’s funny. Embarrassing story, but true: when I first saw YeastSpotting I actually wondered how Susan was finding all of these great bakers writing about their bread each week. My thought was Susan has a lot of time on her hands. Well duh! It would help if I would read the blogs I visit instead of just looking at the pretty pictures. So Susan, per the instructions on your blog, I submit my ciabatta rolls for this week’s yeast spotting!
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking
½ cup 1% milk, warm (about 105 degrees)
1 ¼ cups room temperature water
1 cup well fed sourdough starter
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups white bread flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Extra flour for dusting the work surface.
The night before you plan to bake, Stir together milk, water, starter, and whole-wheat flour in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the sponge sit out at room temperature overnight (at least 8 hours).
The next day, transfer the sponge to the bowl of your stand mixer. Attach a bread hook to the mixer. Add bread flour, salt and olive oil. Run the mixer at the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined then raise the speed a notch and let the dough knead for 7 minutes. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to ferment 3 hours or until the dough doubles in volume.
Flour your work surface liberally (the dough will be wet and sticky). Line two baking sheets with parchment. Pour the dough out onto the floured surface and pat it into a 10”x12” rectangle. Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into 2”x3” rectangles. Use a bench scraper to carefully scrape up and move the rolls to a parchment lined baking sheet. These rolls should be rustic but be careful as you move them. They will stick to the work surface, push in on themselves and stick to you. The nicest rolls I made were the ones that I was carefully able to pick and move in a rectangular shape. Once the rolls have been moved to their new parchment lined home, cover the baking sheets carefully with a clean dishtowel and allow the rolls to rise 1 ½ – 2 hours until puffy.
Prepare your oven: Make sure the racks are in the middle and lower thirds of the oven. While the rolls are rising (maybe a half hour before baking time) preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. When the oven is hot, add the sheets of rolls and a custard cup full of water (for steam) to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool completely before enjoying.