Saturday 23 Nov 2013
One of the many lovely bread blogs that I read is Brot & Bread written by Karin (Hanseata). I sometimes think that people who think and read most about bread (and end up baking it!) are people who have moved to another country and find to their surprise that the foods of their mother country are either non-existent or just different in some way that does not please. Bread seems to be one of those foods that starts this journey.
I grew up with a mother who couldn’t cook but complained bitterly about how horrible English bread was, it is too wet she used to say, or it has no substance. In her last years when she was in a nursing home, my sister and I would be sent on food missions, to find European chocolates, usually one particular variety which could maybe be found at an airport shop, or for the ‘right’ bread. Often when the ‘right’ bread was found it was left out to air and dry a little until it had the right textural qualities that she wanted. It is a far cry from most people’s obsession with ‘fresh’ bread: wet and steamy, warm and squidgy, with that sweet and unique aroma – I can see its charms, but I tend to share my mother’s preference for the ‘right’ bread. It’s strange how these things work. I would have been so pleased to be able to take the ‘right’ bread to her, baked by me.
So when I read Karin’s post about how hard it was to find the ‘right’ sort of rolls in the US, I had great sympathy and I was curious to make her rolls and see what she meant. Like all my good intentions, there has been some delay but I finally made these rolls with a good soft 00 flour with 10 g of protein per 100g which is about the softest I could find. I looked at a bag of plain (soft) flour from the supermarket yesterday and it had 11.4 g of protein, hardly a weak flour if that is what one goes by.
I found this discussion of what 00 flour is matches my understanding best. There are a lot of other explanations of what it is on the net, some of which I am not exactly convinced by and some are just plain wrong. I am neither miller, nor grower, nor pro baker, so if you want to discuss this, I probably know as much,or less, than you, based on what I can read on the internet and from conversation with other bakers.
Karin’s recipe and method are very detailed and I followed them exactly, adding slightly more water to the mix. You can read it here on her blog.→ Wiezenbrötchen – German Rolls ←
When I had finished mixing and kneading the dough was very tacky, but after the four folds described it was fine. I tucked it away in the fridge overnight and made the rolls this morning.
They could have been a tad more golden, I think I opened the oven to rotate the trays one too many times and lost heat, but they are delightful even so.
The crumb is fine, soft and tender, without being wet or squidgy and I am very pleased to be able to add this to my white dough repertoire and to have a truly soft roll to be able to offer to people who want them. Thank you Karin!