Okay, show of hands. How many of you put stuff off and aren't even really sure why you're doing it? Then, when you finally get around to doing whatever you should have done a long time ago, you wonder why the heck you waited so long. Because whatever it was wasn't as bad as you thought it would be, and you feel so much better for having done it. Lots of things leap to mind for me. Taxes, for instance. I knew we were going to get a refund. I had all the paperwork I needed. And yet, I only got it done a week and a half ago! Check-ups for the girls is another thing. I just need to pick up the phone and schedule the appointments. This would have been the perfect week for it. But have I done it? No. Why? I don't know. It's not like either of them need shots or anything that would make it unpleasant. *sigh*
Where am I going with this? I've really got to get better about posting stuff. As I looked at my notes for this recipe, I realized that I made these rolls all the way back at the end of January! Thank goodness I did take notes, or this would be an extremely short post. =) I uploaded the pictures earlier today. And when I realized it was getting late in the evening, I thought about leaving the rest of the post until tomorrow. But I'm not going to do it. I'm going to get it done!
I'm getting ahead of myself. "This recipe" is the next bread in the BBA Challenge, which for me is Kaiser Rolls. I was really looking forward to making these. I love kaiser rolls. But it's near impossible to get authentic ones around here (here being the middle of Texas). Sure, you can find rolls that are the right shape. But they're soft, and kaiser rolls are supposed to be hard rolls. Nothing here comes close.
By now, I'm quite comfortable making breads with preferments. For these rolls, you use some pâte fermentée, which is like a bit of regular dough that you ferment overnight to add flavor. I snuck a little white whole wheat into mine, subbing 2 ounces www flour for 2 ounces of the AP flour. I ended up using 7 ounces of water due to the addition of the whole grain flour. I should mention that I decided that if I was going to the trouble of making my own kaiser rolls, I might as well make a whole bunch. So I doubled the recipe. That worked out quite well, since the original recipe calls for 8 ounces of preferment, but the formula for the pâte fermentée makes about 16 ounces. The only unusual ingredient in the final dough is barley malt. I still had most of a jar of barley malt syrup in the fridge from when I made bagels, so I was all set. I ended up making rolls in two sizes. I did 8 4-ounce rolls and 7 3-ounce rolls. I formed the rolls by knotting them, a technique I've done before for these (includes a link to photos).
The verdict? I loved these rolls! They have a great texture, with a crisp outside and soft inside. And the flavor was perfect. I think it was the malt that made the difference--it's really not detectable as a flavor, but it just adds that little something... I will absolutely be making these again. And soon, since I recently finished off the last of my freezer stash. I can't really offer a lots of other opinions on these, since I might have...kind of...sort of eaten most of them myelf... Brianna did have a couple of the smaller ones in her lunch, and as far as I know, she liked them. See, another reason why I should make them again soon, so someone else will get to try them. =)
Next up is supposed to be Lavash. I've actually made that one before, for the September 2008 Daring Bakers challenge. You can check out the results here. I haven't been motivated to make it again, so I'm going to jump ahead to the Light Wheat Bread. And hey, I might even get the post written this week! To see where everyone else is at with the BBA Challenge, check out the blogroll. Some people have finished the whole book! And for lots more yeasty goodness, head on over to the Yeastspotting page.