After kneading this particular bread, I left it to prove on my kitchen counter but completely forgot about it until I woke up the next day. Instead of the usual beautifully puffed up dough I had a sticky lumpy mass that I would normally have sent to trash at first sight.
I guess I must have been in a damn good mood as I decided to give it a second chance. After kneading the disaster dough a second time with an extra 1/4 cup flour, I shaped it into 9 equally sized dinner rolls praying that some of the yeast had survived the night and could be activated for a second rising.
It was indeed a happy moment when I saw that my rolls had more than doubled in size within 30 minutes. After glazing them with milk, I went for a sprinkling of sesame seeds to give them the classic store-bought finish. They turned out to be very fine batch of dinner rolls but with a faint residual taste of fermented yeast which should not be there if you keep to the appropriate rising times and temperatures.
FRENCH BREAD ROLLS
1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tbs instant or 1 tbs active dry yeast
2 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs canola oil
1 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour.
- If you are using active dry yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour.
- Begin mixing and continue to add rest of the flour gradually until dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
- Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels. It should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.
- Knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand.
- Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise until it has doubled for about an hour.
- Lightly punch down dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide into 12 equal pieces.
- Form into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart.
- Cover the rolls with a lightly greased plastic wrap.
- Take care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten during the second rise.
- Let the rolls rise until doubled, for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 oF. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. Makes 12 rolls.
French Bread Rolls from My Kitchen Cafe