Sourdough Surprises May 2014: Sandwich "Buns".

So it's been a few months since I made time for the Sourdough Surprises baking group but it's not because I didn't want to do it.  Time seems to be going even faster now that the weather has turned for the warmer, and just yesterday I realized that it was close to the 20th and that I had just happened to bake my rolls in the morning.  Technically the challenge was for a sandwich bun, and these are bun-shaped so I'm going with it. 

sourdough rolls

I don't usually mess with rolls.  I don't know why, maybe because bread lasts longer and stales slower?  Because it's less monkeying around?  I've been following a few bread boards on Pinterest, and when I saw these, I knew I had to make them.  Made of heftier grains and plenty of water, I suspected they would be a good sandwich roll, and I was right.  I made just a dozen and only one remains 24 hours later.

After baking, with just enough time for them to come to room temperature, they were actually nice and soft - despite me misting them with water to try and encourage a crustier crust.  I used Kosher salt instead of fine salt, and when eaten plain, I would have preferred them a touch saltier.  However, made into a sandwich with some type of salty cheese, they were perfect.

sourdough rolls
Not so creative, but delicious asiago cheese and cucumber sandwich.

They are heartier than most soft buns, but I think when using deeper tasting grains that is acceptable.  I'm still using the local Lonesome Stone Milling flours (except for the spelt, which I ground myself from co-op spelt berries), and the taste is so so good.  By today, they really had developed some great flavors.  In fact, I'm thinking of making them again for tomorrow.

The recipe is incredibly simple:  just mix up the dough and autolyse without the salt for 45-60 minutes, then add the salt and give it a few folds at 30 and 60 minutes.  Just wait until the next day, let it laze about on the counter for awhile and bake them.  I used a baking stone, and shoveled them in using a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal.  They are pretty sticky; use a bench scraper to help you cut them and gently form them into rough pieces.  The dough was so sticky I had trouble using a lame to slash - resulting in domed tops.  By the last pieces, I figured out to use a serrated knife - those rolls baked into a more appropriate shape.  Here is the recipe I used, I didn't alter it at all except to make a half batch.

sourdough rolls

I would like to experiment more with soft buns - and I'm sure the baking group will have lots of inspiration, have a look below!  I hope to be more on track for the summer months with Sourdough Surprises participation!



Dutchie Crust: Daring Baker Challenge March 2012

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Dutchie crust

Our San Franciscan hosts call this crispy, crunchy bread Dutch Crunch, but in Milwaukee we call it Dutchie Crust. I actually never had any rolls of this type until I met my Husband and his family, and was introduced to Canfora Bakery just down the road from our house. Canfora is a "European" style bakery, and I do confess that I feel no guilt in the occasional purchase of hard rolls from them. They are fluffy and soft inside with a thin, brittle crackling crust - and I couldn't help but want to compare this month's challenge to them.

I followed the provided recipes for both the rolls and the topping, although I'd like to experiment more with this topping, perhaps even on a sourdough roll. It is made primarily of rice flour, which I ground from white rice in my VitaMix. I haven't ever purchased any rice flour, but homemade rice flour never quite loses the trace of grit you would expect from a hard, brown or white rice kernel.

The rice flour is mixed with yeast and water, a little sugar, oil and salt and left to sit for about 15 minutes before "painting" the tops of the risen rolls. It is thick, and I used my hands to almost mold it to the tops of rising bread. The bread dough recipe itself was a pretty standard roll recipe, and the heavy rice topping seemed to make them flatten out a bit, even though they were rising fine. Not a bad thing, and they would probably make a good torta or sandwich roll (I dug through my frozen leftovers and found some pork and cabbage from December that I heated and thickened with a little flour. It wasn't picturesque, but it was tasty.)

rice flour topping

The topping made the rolls a bit gritty to eat, though the interiors were soft and pleasant enough. (My Husband picked out the filling and ate it alongside his meal...) I found them ok, in part because I was comparing them to the Dutchie crust rolls from down the street, and in part because the topping literally left a bad taste in my mouth.

I consulted Fany Gerson's recipe for conchas, and noticed that the topping uses flour and baking powder - the same type of topping I believe my Rhode Islander father-in-law said they used on top of the Dutch Crust rolls he made when he worked in a Portuguese bakery when he was young. Gerson's recipe has quite a lot of sugar, presumably because conchas are really a pan dulce, or sweet bread. But I may be on to something if I begin to experiment with it.

doughDutchie crust roll interior

I'll be sure to write an update when I try again to master the mysteries of the Dutchie Crust roll, Meanwhile, be sure to check out the Daring Baker blogroll to find other variations on the challenge this month.

Dutchie crust roll