Apr 3, 2013

Spelt rolls

This morning, cutting through what it felt like a piece of Styrofoam but was a lunch roll for Hania, I thought, it's the last time, I'm making a sandwich with this sad piece of food.  Full of air instead of grain, so loose I don't have a chance to spread butter without tearing it. Thinking that rolls (whole grain) was one of my favorite thing to eat while growing up...

My mom never made rolls. My dad bought fresh ones every morning around the corner. My favorite were always the graham type, packed with grains, chewy, sweet from the grain. 

Similar to the ones I made this morning. This is not a long, 1-2 (up to 16) day recipe, where you keep adding flour and let dough raise numerous times. This one takes about 4 hours, dough raises twice. The recipe called for only whole grain (meaning wheat) flour. I had a couple of packages of spelt (whole grain) flour, so I used it. I substituted 20% of the recommended amount of flour with regular, white flour. I was afraid rolls would turn out too heavy for Hania. She would bring them back home saying.."they're good but...". Sweet, she is.

We like the spelt rolls. They are not sweet. Better with prosciutto than with jam. Mission accomplished.

Recipe adapted from GialloZafferano

time: 15 min preparation + 3 hrs inactive + 40 min baking = about 4 hrs

400 g (3 1/3 cups) spelt flour
100 g (2/3 cup) regular flour
12 g (.4 oz) fresh yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
300-350 ml (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups) tepid water
10 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil


In a small bowl, with your fingers, crumble yeast. Add about 1/4 cup of tepid water (taken from the total amount) and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix it a bit with a spoon, making sure it's all dissolved.

In a jar, mix rest of tepid water with salt and olive oil.

In a bowl of a standing mixer, sift in flours. Pour in the yeast mix. Blend it a bit with your hands. Pour in the water mix. Using a needle attachment, on low speed, knead dough for about 10 minutes. It should end up elastic, sticking to the needle and not to the sides of the bowl. With your hands, form a ball and put it back in the bowl, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in an oven with light on for 1-2 hours, till it doubles in size. Since it's cold in the morning in my apartment, I turned the oven on for 5 minutes on 50C/120F (on static function) and then I put the bowl with dough to raise inside. 

Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer dough (that has doubled in volume) on a rolling board. Work it a bit and form small balls (taller than wider or you'll have flat rolls), making sure dough ends fold in on the bottom of a roll. Position rolls on a baking sheet, sprinkle with flour (extra) and cover again with plastic wrap. Place the sheet in the oven with lights on for 1-2 hours, till they double in size. Then, using a knife, make a cross in the middle (I did it too early).

Take out the sheet. Preheat oven to 180C/355F (static function). Place rolls in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of rolls. They should be lightly browned. Let them cool on a cooling rack.

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