You see, I was trying NOT to write about bread this time around, but apparently, it won´t be possible. I seem to be obsessed with breads lately (not helped by the purchase of a cookbook focused solely on bread). I´ve been reading about all sorts of breads, dreaming of attending a bread-making class (without going broke), drooling over bread pictures on the web, and imagining all the breads I´m going to make this fall-winter (summer wasn´t working with me and my bread making period). In fact, I plan on making every slice of bread I eat this year… don´t think I´m completely nuts, my freezer is my very best friend!
I was planning of discussing a nice dessert, a good vegetable dish, or something along those lines, but looking at the food pictures I had lined up to discuss, these bread pictures were definitely the ones that inspired me the most. To make matters worse, the flavor combination of this particular recipe is very very Italian, as usual. Could I be any more predictable?
But this bread is just way too good to wait to post it and then forget all the tiny details of the cooking- and eating- process. In fact, it´s so good that it was the main element of our dinner that night, just the bread and a generous salad.
Since the preparation took place at my parents´s house, I must admit that I was only a side-kick in the making of the bread because my mom was the one in charge of cooking, but I can still attest that it was quite easy to prepare… and, most importantly, I can swear on my life that it tasted just as good as it looks, if not better.
When reading the recipe, you might wonder why it calls for an alternation of liquids and dry ingredients, instead of just mixing the dry ingredients, making a hole in the middle and adding the liquids there. Well, we did too, and while I don´t have an answer as to the whys of that particular method (I´d be very grateful if someone can enlighten me about it), I´m sure there is an explanation for it, and the result was fantastic, so I´m not one to argue after a victory.
(Check out the recipe after the jump, and do yourself a favor and make this fantastic bread, you can thank me later 😉
Bread rolls with arugula and confit tomatoes (translated and adapted from 145 Recetas de Panes y facturas by Marcelo Vallejo)
Dry yeast, 15 grams (around 1 tablespoon)
Water, 600 cc (around 20 fl oz or 2 1/2 cups)
All-purpose flour (0000), 1 kilo (2.2 pounds)
Salt, 22 grams (1 1/2 tablespoons)
Butter, 85 grams (6 tablespoons)
Arugula, 2 bunches
Grated parmesan cheese, 200 grams (around 1 1/4 cups)
Prosciutto or serrano ham, 200 grams, or a bit less than 1/2 a pound (we used bondiola, which is a type of Italian sausage, I´m sure a pastrami would also work great here)
Sun-dried tomatoes, 12 (here, we used confit tomatoes my mother had made, we must have used 20 or so, but they are much milder than sun-dried tomatoes, and much yummier, in my humble opinion)
Olive oil, as needed
(Yields 40-50 rolls)
1. For the dough, dissolve the yeast in 100cc of lukewarm water. Add the softened butter and then, little by little, the flour and the salt, alternating this dry mix with the rest of the water (we did this in 3 times).
2. Form a soft dough and knead it for a few minutes.
3. Divide the dough in 2 and shape it like a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out each of the balls giving it a rectangular shape. Distribute the arugula leaves on the dough, then the grated cheese, the prosciutto (or bondiola), and the tomatoes (either chopped or whole. He said chopped because he was using sun-dried tomatoes but we left our confit tomatoes whole).
5. Sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and roll the rough, starting from the longest side of the rectangle. Cut portions every 2 cm.
6. Put them on slightly-oiled pans. Cover them and let them double their size.
7. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
8. Cook the rolls for 25 minutes.
This is my first entry to Waiter, there´s something in my bread… I´ll be adding quite a few more during the month, so stay tuned for more bread.