“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
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.