I think it’s more the look than the taste of these rolls that sells them. Don’t get me wrong, they taste awesome. But if I had to choose only one way of shaping all my rolls – it would clearly be this way. Taste wise, I love the fact that the olive oil makes the crust really crisp while keeping the inside moist and soft. Without making them look, feel or taste greasy. Gotta love olive oil.
I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. Sea salt is the best bread topping. Ever.
Semolina sourdough rolls
Duration: 20 hours for the pre-dough to get active. Then another 5 hours to let the dough rise and baking the rolls.
Makes about 33 rolls.
Day 1, poolish
- 100 g (3.5 oz) white starter
- 350 g (12.3 oz, not fluid!) filtered water
- 225 g (7.9 oz) bread flour
- 100 g (3.5 oz, not fluid!) filtered water
- 0.5 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 105 g (3.7 oz) semolina flour
- 395 g (13.9 oz) bread flour
Make the poolish by mixing starter, water and bread flour in a bowl. Wrap the bowl with cling wrap and let sit in room temperature for 20 hours, until the poolish has risen, and then collapsed. Add in water, sea salt, honey and semolina flour. Then add the bread flour and knead to a firm dough.
Roll out the dough to a rectangular shape, approximately 28”x17” (see pictures here of how to shape the rolls). Brush olive oil on the dough and sprinkle over semolina flour and poppy seeds. Fold the dough in half, roll it out a little further and cut it into stripes, about ¾ of an inch wide. Then shape the rolls. Put them on greased oven trays and let rise for about 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 460°F and put in a casserole dish full of water on the lower rack. Brush olive oil on the rolls and sprinkle some sea salt on top. Bake the buns for about 20 minutes. See here on how to know when your bread is done. Let the rolls cool on a rack.
The looks of a sweet cinnamon roll (my style), with the benefits of pull-apart monkey bread, and with the taste of a soft semolina roll. Everybody wins.
They are fun to make, too.