I think I would just die if I had to stick to a low-carb diet. Don´t get me wrong, I´m fine with whichever suits your needs (though I must admit the whole low-carb obsession did make me smirk ocassionally while I was in the US), but it´s just against the very core of my taste in food.
You see, there are people who love meat… not me, I do like it but it must represent around 20% of my overall diet or something like that. My thing, the thing that makes me swoon, is flour. Yes, flour in all sorts of confections, be it a nice cake, a perfect plate of pasta, a tart, a quiche, or a nice, chunky loaf of bread.
One of my favorite aromas in the whole wide world is that of bread just taken out of the oven… ok, it is actually a tie with the smell of croissants (or “medialunas”, as we call them here) while walking past a bakery… I still remember how my stomach used to rumble whenever I got out of highschool at noon to be greeted by that smell… good thing I lived just a block away from school so I could quickly go home and have lunch to forget about the aroma of beautiful medialunas baking.
Ok, but back to the topic at hand, which, believe it or not, isn´t medialunas. Bread, oh, what would we do without you? Probably little. And it´s not that hard to make I swear. I do know some people just can´t get over the fear of the all-mighty yeast, but trust me, it´s really not that difficult, especially in this case because they are rolls, so if you don´t get such a fluffy crumb, they will still be very good and taste wonderful.
Not surprisingly for me, the flavor combination is very Italian: olives and sun-dried tomatoes with parmesan on top. I know, I hate to be predictable, but when predictability tastes this good, it really doesn´t bother me at all.
Bread rolls with olives and sun-dried tomatoes (adapted and translated from 145 Recetas de panes y facturas by Marcelo Vallejo)
Yields around 20 bread rolls (I did 16, but it really depends on the size you want to achieve after they are cooked)
All-purpose flour (here it is called 0000), 500 grams or 1 pound
Salt, 2 teaspoons
Basil, chopped, 2 teaspoons (here I used my pesto oil instead)
Fresh yeast, 25 g (I used an envelope of dry yeast, which is around 1 tablespoon)
Malt extract, 1 teaspoon (I didn´t have any so I left it out, it´s supposed to increase the moisture even more)
Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons
Sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated, 10
Olives (I chose green olives), 80 grams (I don´t have a scale, so I just used around 15 olives)
Egg, to paint before baking.
Grated parmesan, to sprinkle before baking.
1. Sift the flour and the salt in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle and put the basil (or the pesto), the water, the olive oil and the yeast there (and malt extract if you are using any).
2. Join the ingredients slowly and, when the dough is almost ready, incorporate the olives and the tomatoes. (It might look like they will take forever to be fully incorporated within the dough, but knead for a few minutes and it´ll be perfect.)
3. The dough will be relatively soft. Now form a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
4. Split the dough into 15-20 pieces and shape them like a ball (I wish I could explain this better, hopefully, you´ve seen it on tv haha).
5. Place in a lightly oiled cookie pan. Cover and let them rise till they double in size.
6. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
7. When the bread rolls have doubled, brush them with a slightly beaten egg and put some parmesan cheese on top (be careful with the cheese not falling directly on the pan since it might burn).
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy! They freeze perfectly well. I froze some and just take some out, microwave them, then toast them for a minute and they are perfect.