ROSETTA ROLLS

delicious - - SILVIA COLLOCA -

MAKES 8

“You will al­ways find rosetta rolls (or michetta, as we call them in the north of Italy) in an Ital­ian bread bas­ket. They are the per­fect ves­sel for cheese and cold cuts, and as my dad Mario puts it, ‘ Non c’é niente come una michetta calda con la mor­tadella.’ (‘You can’t beat a warm michetta stuffed with mor­tadella.’)” Be­gin this recipe 1 day ahead.

21/ 3 cups (350g) baker’s flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing

PRE-FERMENT

1 tsp dried yeast 1 cup (150g) baker’s flour

For the pre-ferment, mix the yeast and

1/3 cup (80ml) wa­ter in a bowl and stand for a few min­utes to froth up. Put flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with a dough hook, add wa­ter mix­ture and mix on low speed for 3-4 min­utes. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, do this by hand and en­joy the work­out!) The dough will be a lit­tle hard to knead, but don’t worry about that. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and prove in a warm place for 6-8 hours or un­til softer and dou­bled in size.

To make the rosetta dough, re­turn the risen pre-ferment to the mixer, add the flour and 200ml wa­ter, and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add 1 scant tbs salt flakes, then in­crease the speed to high and knead for a few min­utes or un­til smooth. (Again, you can do this by hand, with a lit­tle el­bow grease!) Lift the dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured sur­face, then cover with a damp tea towel and rest in a warm place for 20 min­utes.

Us­ing floured hands, stretch the dough into a rec­tan­gle, then fold the top and bot­tom thirds into the cen­tre like fold­ing a let­ter and then onto it­self into a ball. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest in a warm place for 20 min­utes. Re­peat the stretch­ing and fold­ing, then cover and leave to prove for an­other 45 min­utes.

Di­vide the dough evenly into eight balls. Dust them lightly with ex­tra flour, then cover them with a dry tea towel and prove for 30 min­utes.

Use a rosetta cut­ter (or an ap­ple di­vider; pos­si­bly eas­ier to source) to score the dough. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for a fur­ther 30 min­utes.

Pre­heat your oven to 220°C and line a bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per.

Place the rolls on pre­pared tray, leav­ing room for spread­ing, then dust with ex­tra flour and bake for 18-20 min­utes or un­til lightly golden. Re­move from tray and cool on a wire rack for 30 min­utes be­fore eat­ing.

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