Hard Rolls (Half Recipe)

Ingredients:

1 packages (1 tbsp) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1 c warm water
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 c gluten flour OR bread flour
2-2.5 c soft wheat flour OR cake flour OR pastry flour

cornmeal
egg wash (1 egg white + 2 tbsp water)

Directions:

  1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in large bowl. Let stand until frothy.
  2. Mix salt and gluten flour and add to yeast mixture.
  3. Add soft wheat flour, 1 c at a time, until you have a firm dough.
  4. Remove to a lightly floured board and knead until no longer sticky, around 10 min, adding flour as necessary.
  5. Place in oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface of the dough.
  6. Cover and let rise 2 h or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Punch down the dough.
  8. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 2 min.
  9. Cut dough into 24 pieces and form into balls.
  10. Place on baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
  11. Slash the tops of the rolls.
  12. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 min.
  13. Place 4 custard cups of boiling water on the corners of your oven rack.
  14. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  15. Brush rolls with egg wash.
  16. Place the baking sheet on the rack and bake for 25 to 30 min
  17. Bake until the rolls are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped.
  18. Remove to a rack to cool.

NOTE: Original recipe has a salt water wash, and requires the oven be opened every 5 minutes to reglaze with salt water. Opening and closing the oven so many times increases the cooking time. Glazing with salt water makes the buns ridiculously salty. KAF has the same recipe, seems like they borrowed heavily from James Beard, and just changed his salt wash to an egg wash. Having made the original James Beard recipe, I can totally see why.

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