I'm just going to tell you right now that if you want rolls ready for dinner today, this recipe is not for you. Although it is easy and doesn't require too much hands on time, this recipe needs to be started about 24 hours in advance. It took me a while to make these because I NEVER plan that far ahead.
True to the name, however, they produce wonderfully crusty outsides, with that hard roll texture that I love. This is not an everyday roll for me, but a good one to keep in the index. We loved them!
Crusty European Hard Rolls
Recipe from King Aurhur Flour
1 c. cool water
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
all of starter
7 c. flour
2 c. lukewarm water
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 large egg
1/4 c. cool water
Make the starter by mixing all ingredients together until smooth.
Cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.
Combine all of the dough ingredients and knead together, 6 minutes for white flour, 10 for wheat.
Allow dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Gently deflate dough and turn it over in bowl.
Allow dough to rise, covered, for 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto greased work surface.
Divide into 24 small pieces, or 16 large, depending on size preference.
Shape into balls, and firm them up by rolling them under lightly cupped fingers.
Place rolls on greased baking sheet.
Cover, and let rise for 1-2 hours, until puffy, though not doubled in size.
Keep covered, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours more.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare egg wash by whisking egg and water in a shallow dish.
Remove rolls from refrigerator, and brush them with the egg wash.
Slash a 1/4" deep cut across the top of each roll.
Immediately put the rolls into the preheated oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until rolls are a deep golden brown.
For best crunch, open oven door and allow rolls to cool in the turned off, open-door oven.
Yields 16-24 rolls, depending on size.