I am suffering from tiny bun syndrome. I know it sounds like a personal problem. Maybe it is…but wait a second…no it’s not! (But, I kind of wish it was a personal problem so that I could stop dieting). It’s just that I keep stumbling on recipes that promise me big buns. The kind that will make embarrassingly big sloppy sandwiches and I keep pulling these lovely little petite things out of the oven. It’s embarrassing. Especially because my boyfriend has a big appetite and keeps giving me a look of disappointment when he sees how small his sandwich will really be. (It never occurs to him that he will eat two sandwiches anyway and that those two sandwiches will equal the one big sandwich of his hopes and dreams). These rolls turned out to be 3” x 3” inches. Monsters I suppose, compared to the microscopic 2” x 3” ciabatta rolls I made last time.
Unlike those ciabatta rolls, these rolls made up for their diminutive size with a huge amount of flavor. I made these rolls with sourdough instead of active dry yeast and the sponge was allowed to sit for 15 hours. The fermentation was evident in the final bread. The flavor was stupendous! The recipe called for green olives. Trader Joes has a Greek olive medley composed of 4 or 5 different olives of different colors and textures. I used as many green olives as I could and supplemented them with a few black olives to get the ¾ cup needed for the recipe. I have had kalamata bread that was too salty before. These olives are much more mellow and less salty and they contributed a nice tang to the bread. The final product was sour and tangy with a soft interior and a nice crispness to the crust. I was very pleased with these rolls and look forward to making sandwiches with them.
Next time… well… I may double the recipe and then make 9 instead of 12 rolls. What do you think? Will I get the right size rolls or should I double the dough and go for even less rolls?
By the way, here is a vanity shot of the interior of the rolls (oh yeah! Light and fluffy!)
These little rolls are going out to all of you YeastSpotters. But if you haven’t seen YeastSpotting before, you are in for a treat! Click here to see what other kinds of yummies were baked up this week!
Rustic Olive Rolls
Adapted from the King Arthur flour site
½ cup water
3 tbsp sourdough starter
1 cup unbleached bread flour
All of the sponge
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup (+ 1 tbsp if needed) water
1 tsp salt
2 cups unbleached white flour
¾ cup chopped, pitted olives (Greek olives worked well – use any mild, firm less salty olives)
To make the sponge: In a large bowl, mix water, starter and flour until well combined. It will look like a little ball of dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter 14-15 hours. (Start early in the evening if you want to bake first thing in the morning). In the morning, you should see that your little ball dough has tripled in size!
To make the dough: Add olive oil, water, salt, and flour to the sponge. Mix until well combined. My dough was very dry and wouldn’t come together. I added another tbsp of water and it seemed to hold together. You may need to as well. Just add water by the tablespoon until you get a dough forming. Turn the dough out onto a kneading surface. Knead 10-12 minutes or until the dough is soft and you can stretch it without breaking (window pane test).
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Put olives in a clean dish towel and wring out any excess liquid from them. Turn the dough out onto the kneading surface. Flatten the dough and add the olives. Knead the olives into the dough until they are well incorporated into the dough.
Pat the dough into a 9” x 9” rectangle. Be careful to make the corners as sharp as possible and the edges as straight as possible so that the rolls will have a pretty shape.
Cut the dough into six 3” x 3” rectangles. Rub flour into the surface of a clean cotton dish cloth (not terry cloth or you will be sorry) . Place the dish cloth on a hard surface like a cookie sheet. Space three pieces of dough on the dishcloth and pushing the cloth up against the edges of each dough piece to form a support. Set the other three dough pieces on the cloth and repeat so that they look like this:
Cover the dough with another clean dish towel and let it rise 1 to 2 hours until it is very puffy.
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Carefully transfer the rolls to a peel that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal. Transfer the rolls to the stone and bake until browned, 20 – 25 minutes. Transfer the rolls to a cooling rack. Cool completely before enjoying.