This recipe is adapted from one in Treatise on Baking by J. E. Wihlfahrt, published in 1928. I bought this book several years ago in a secondhand book shop and have treasured it ever since. In 2006, we received permission from the successor to Fleischmann Yeast Company, ACH Foods, the owner of the copyright, to scan the book and post it as part of the FAQ for the newsgroup alt.bread.recipes.
In the book, the recipe is given in weights for using 100 pounds / 45 kg of flour. I have adapted the recipe to use 1000 grams / 35 ounces of flour, with the other ingredients scaled accordingly. This makes dough for 24 rolls when scaled at 70 grams / 2 1/2 ounces. I've added a biga, which I fermented on the counter overnight. This biga contains part of the flour and water and a bit of yeast. It adds a nice additional flavor. I also added a 20 minute autolyse before adding the salt and a fold after 1 1/4 hours.
The book said nothing about the method of handling the dough, so I've developed the process below. The frequent resting periods during dividing and shaping just about guarantee great loft and rise and a good crumb. The egg wash and the shortening give the crust a nice soft feel.
The recipe says to bake in a "brisk" oven. I have no idea what that means, but I've experimented at various temperatures and 360F / 182C works well when baked for 22 minutes. The crust stays soft and the center bakes properly.
The result of these changes is that the rolls have a nice flavor and incredible loft and rise. I made these in slightly elongated shape, but it you were to make them in rounds and flatten them quite a bit, they should make great hamburger or sandwich rolls, like for turkey or ham sandwiches for the holidays.
If you've worked with some of my other recipes on this site, you'll recognize what I've done. I've taken a commercial recipe and adapted it to use some of the artisanal - artisan techniques: autolyse, folds, rests during dividing and shaping. These changes result is a bread that is true to the original recipe but has some of the feel and taste of an artisanal - artisan bread. Sort of the best of both worlds. It may be presumptuous of me, but I think Mr. Wihlfahrt would have approved.
|Bread Flour||5 1/4||150|
|Dry Yeast||1/4 tsp||1|
Mix up, put in covered container and let sit on counter overnight.
|Warm water||16 1/2||470|
|Yeast||1 Tbsp||10 g|
|Salt||2 1/4 tsp||20|
|Malt||1 Tblsp||20||See malt discussion here.||Use diastatic malt if possible. If you don't have diastatic malt, use regular malt. If you don't have either malt, just use sugar.|
|Non-fat dry milk||1/2||10 gms|
Make a wash of one egg and a tablespoon / 15 ml of warm water.
Have poppy seeds on hand if you want to sprinkle the rolls with them.
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