Friday, August 20, 2010

More Fun When Shared - Scali Rolls and Dinner Rolls

Baking bread has become one of my passions. To be able to share that passion and be in the kitchen with one of the sweetest people I know is just the best thing!

Zepher's mom had never baked bread and we did some knot rolls and a lovely sweet dried fruit braid together last winter. Due to one thing and another and remodeling it took us this long to get together in the kitchen again. This time I did the same thing I did with the Captain and mostly kept things on track and hands off for me. SHE baked some gorgeous rolls and now feels like she can try it on her own in a week or two!

The first rolls are from King Arthur Flour website, scali rolls, but I call them Sesame Braided rolls. You start with a stiff starter which mellows overnight on the counter for flavor. The dough goes together easily and had a cute 'belly button' when we tested for sufficient rise.

When it is time to shape the rolls, you divide the dough into six pieces, roll each into a long rope, brush each rope with egg white, coat with sesame seeds, then make two long braids. Each braid gets cut into six pieces. After the cut ends get tucked under

you have the cutest little sesame seed covered rolls!

The second rolls recipe is another from King Arthur, this time from the cookbook The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. You begin with a basic soft while bread, White Bread 101, but divide it into 16 pieces, which you can then shape as you wish. We did two shapes, snails and cloverleaf rolls. The snails were given an egg wash when they had risen and the cloverleaf rolls had an egg white wash and were sprinkled with poppy seeds.

I took some of all three kinds of rolls home and they were all delicious!

The sesame rolls were leaner and just a bit dryer. Zepher's mom had them with red pepper soup for dinner...a perfect choice! I love cloverleaf rolls and the way they pull apart for eating. The poppy seeds were a great addition to a lovely, buttery soft roll. The snails were larger and excellent, soft and melt in your mouth good.

It takes more time to make rolls than to make a loaf of bread, but it can be a lot of fun and there is just something so satisfying about helping yourself to a crusty golden roll from the basket. Pass the rolls, please!

Both of these rolls recipes is going the Yeastspotting over at Susan's Wild Yeast blog. It is a weekly wonderful round up of great and amazing yeasted goodies. Do hop over and see why bloggers keep coming back EVERY WEEK .

Here is the link for the Scali (sesame) Rolls and here is the recipe:

Braided Sesame Rolls (or one large Sesame Braided Bread)

• 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup cool water, enough to make a stiff ball of dough
• pinch of instant yeast

• all of the starter
• 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons Baker's Special dry milk or nonfat dry milk
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 2/3 cup lukewarm water
• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
• 1/2 cup sesame seeds

1) To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients together, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight. Note: This is a dry, stiff starter. If it's too dry to come together, it may be that you measure your flour differently than we do here at King Arthur, or that you're in a particularly dry climate. Dribble in sufficient water to make the dough come together, and proceed with the recipe as directed.

2) To make the dough: Combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or large (8-cup) measure; cover, and let it rise for about 90 minutes, till it's just about doubled in bulk.

4) To make one large loaf: Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rough log, and let the logs rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. This gives the gluten in the dough a chance to relax, which in turn will make the logs easier to roll.

5) Working on a lightly greased surface, roll each log into a rope about 24" long. Brush each rope with the egg white/water, and sprinkle heavily with the sesame seeds, rolling the ropes gently in the seeds to pick up as many as possible.

6) Grab one end of each rope, and squeeze the ends together firmly. Braid the ropes, tucking the ends under to make a neat braided loaf.

7) To make rolls: Follow the directions above,

but divide the dough into six pieces, rather than three.

Roll each piece into a thin rope about 18" long.
Let rest 10 minutes if they resist rolling…it lets the dough relax.

Take three of the ropes. Whisk together 1 large egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Brush each rope with the the egg white/water; this will be the “glue” to hold the seeds.

and coat with seeds and braid as directed above.

Repeat with the remaining three ropes. The resulting loaves will be about 18" long. Sprinkle heavily with 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, rolling the ropes gently in the seeds to pick up as many as possible. Braid three 'snakes' together, then the other three.

8) Cut each braid into six 3" rolls. Squeeze the cut ends together to seal, and tuck them under.

9) Space the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet. (We used Silpat silicon mats)

Cover the loaf or rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise till very puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

10) The rolls will need to bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Yield: one large loaf, or 12 rolls.

White Bread Rolls 101

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter at room temperature
¼ cup nonfat dry milk (we used ¼ cup evaporated milk instead)
3 cup potato flakes
1 1/8 cup lukewarm water

Combine all ingredients and mix and knead them together…by hand, mixer, or bread machine…until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. Cover and let the dough rise for 1 hour, until it’s puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 pieces. (We used a scale and tried to keep the pieces of dough close in weight.)

Choose the shapes you want to create. For snails, roll each piece in a long snake, then roll into a spiral shape, tucking the end under when finished.

For cloverleaf rolls, butter a muffin tin and for each roll take one of the dough pieces, divide it into three balls and place those three balls together in the muffin cup.

After shaping, let the rolls rise until puffy and almost doubled in size. We covered them with a piece of plastic wrap that we oiled on the side that touches the rolls. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown with an internal temperature of 190 degrees F.

NOTE: Risen unbaked rolls can be brushed with an egg white or egg wash (egg white beaten with some water, or egg beaten with some water) and sprinkled with seeds or sea salt. Finished rolls can be brushed with butter for a soft crust, but these are pretty buttery without that.


  1. Those are some truly beautiful rolls!

    As to the dryness of flour: we've found that flour, in the UK, is universally drier than flour in the US. This is 3 years of trying different flours, and finding that the amount of water I'd expect to produce 4 loaves in the US produces 3 loaves in the UK. Quite a difference.

  2. I love all of the different rolls the two of you made.

    Elle, you are so cool. I love how you are passing on your love of baking. Thank you for sharing these nice baking days with us.

  3. All the bread look amazing. I especially like the snails.

  4. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Beautiful! Like you, I adore King Arthur Flour--best ever! I wish I could bake beside you and learn your techniques!