Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet and Sourdough Rolls

I tried to make bagels based on the Sourdough Oatmeal Bread recipe from Israeli Kitchen.  The dough fell apart in the boiling water, but I still got some very tasty rolls.  By substituting apple juice for water, I got a slightly sweeter dough, as well as what we call "mezonot rolls."  For observant Jews, that means instead of washing our hands in a ritual fashion and making the blessing on bread, then a full grace after meals, we say one blessing before eating the rolls and a short blessing afterward.  This can be preferable when you want a snack or when you have limited time, like at work.

Makes 12 traditional or bagel shaped rolls.

The night before mix
1/2 cup sourdough starter
2 cups warm apple juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup instant oats
(I used regular, but Miriam K.'s recipe calls for instant.)

I kept my dough in my oven overnight.  In the bottom of the oven I put a dish of boiling water.  It kept the oven humid overnight.

The next morning is the moment of truth.  If your "sponge" looks dense and hasn't grown or gotten bubbly or fluffy overnight, don't go on.  Either, add packaged yeast, use the batter for pancakes, or quit.

If you have bubbles or any evidence of leavening activity, add
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoon oil

Gradually knead in approximately 3 more cups of flour.  Stretch and fold the dough in a large bowl or on a flat surface.  I use my granite counter top.

When the dough is smooth and only a little sticky, return to the bowl in a warm place (like your oven with a bowl of hot water).

After the dough has risen and become light again, divide the dough into two loafs or more rolls.  I used a large knife to divide my round dough into four quarters.  Then each quarter I cut into 3 smaller pieces.

Form the dough into desired shape.  Dress with an egg yolk wash and more oats or a mixture of cornstarch and water for an extra crispy crust.

Allow the dough to rise another half-hour to an hour.

Bake in a hot oven until rolls are golden-brown.

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