French-style sandwich rolls

Yield
6 sandwich rolls
Prep Time
schedule 35 minutes
Cook Time
schedule 25 minutes
Total Time
schedule 3 hours and 30 minutes

An overnight starter sets these French-style bread rolls to be extra flavorful. A hot water bath in the oven provides a hearty crunch to the crust, while leaving a soft interior perfect for sandwiching.

Ingredients:

Overnight starter
  • 120 grams bread flour (1 cup)
  • 120 grams water (1/2 cup)
  • 3 grams instant yeast (1/2 teaspoon)
Dough
  • All of the overnight starter
  • 360 grams bread flour (3 cups)
  • 9 grams instant yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 8 grams salt (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 240 grams warm water (1 cup)

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients for the Overnight rise. This will be the consistency of a thick pancake batter; it will not seem like dough. 

Let overnight starter rest on the counter or in a warm place in your kitchen overnight or at least 4 hours. Overnight will help result in more flavor in your rolls. 

When you're ready to make your dough, add all ingredients into your stand mixer or if you're mixing by hand, add to a large bowl. 

If you're using a stand mixer, mix/knead the dough with the dough hook for 8 minutes and you should have a smooth dough If you're kneading by hand, you will want to knead for 15 minutes or until you have a smooth dough. 

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl that is covered with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot in your kitchen for 45 minutes. 

After 45 minutes, with a slightly wet or greased hand, fold the dough over itself in the bowl 7 or 8 times. Just pinch one corner, stretch it straight up and fold it down over the dough. Rotate the bowl slightly and do it again. Repeat 7 or 8 times. This is called a "stretch and fold." It isn't required, but it helps build structure and gluten in the final bread. 

Recover the bowl and rest the dough for another 45 minutes. 

Shape the dough into six or seven even-sized pieces. I usually use a scale to be precise. Form each dough into a ball and let the dough balls rest on the counter for 15 minutes prior to final shaping. 

After 15 minutes, using your hands, shape each dough ball into a flat rectangle about 6 to 8 inches by 4 inches. Roll each rectangle tightly on the long side. So, you should end up with a cylinder that's about 6 to 8 inches. When you're done rolling, pinch the seam closed very well and roll the dough log/cylinder on the counter 3 or 4 times to help shape. Taper the ends if you want for a more professional look. Place all shaped rolls on a sheet pan and allow to rest for 1 to 1.5 hours. 

After 1 or 1.5 hours of final rise time, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). 

Place a roasting pan or oven-safe pan on the bottom rack of your oven during the pre-heating time. 

After the oven has pre-heated, spray all your rolls liberally with water and add your sheet pan with all of your risen and shaped doughs.

Add 2 cups of hot water to the preheated pan in the bottom of the oven and quickly close the door. I use the microwave to heat up the 2 cups for about a minute, but you can bring it to boiling in a pot on the stove if you prefer. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes rotating halfway and spritzing with more water at the halfway point. Be careful opening the oven door because there could be a lot of steam coming out. 

After your rolls have achieved the level of browning that you desire, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest on a wire rack before serving. 

Have you made this recipe? Tag @beerinator and let him know!


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