A while ago, A&B Naturals, the local store that sells my breads on weekends, let me know that the “lunch crowd” were hungry for some nice rolls to go with their smoothies.
Since I like trying out new things and find it rather boring to always bake the same breads, I jumped at the chance to test some new recipes for rolls that had been on my to-do list for a long time.
Viewing my flour supplies, I decided to go with kamut, an ancient wheat with a lovely golden color and delicate, nutty taste.
Adapted from a recipe of one of my bread baking heroes, Richard Ploner, the crusty rolls surpassed my expectations – and “the lunch crowd” at A&B’s loved them, too!
The kamut flour is soaked for 24 hours, and, for optimal taste (and least hands-on work), I allow the dough to slowly ferment overnight in the fridge. Therefore plan on starting the preparation 2 days before you want to bake.
KAMUT ROLLS (adapted from Richard Ploner’s: “Brot aus Südtirol)
300 g kamut flour
240 g water (122°F/50ºC)
240 g water (95ºF/35ºC)
6 g instant yeast
540 g kamut soaker (all)
300 g Italian Tipo 00 flour
60 g bread flour
5 g sugar
36 g olive oil
12 g salt
For the hot soaker, in medium bowl, stir together hot water and kamut flour until all flour is hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave for at least 24 hours at room temperature.
For the final dough, add yeast to warm water in mixer bowl and stir to dissolve (this step is optional, but it helps distributing the yeast faster in the dough). Add all other ingredients, and mix on low speed until all flour is hydrated.
Let it sit for 5 minutes, then knead on medium-low speed for 4-6 minutes until a smooth, elastic dough forms. It should be a bit sticky (if not, adjust with a little more water).
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work surface. With oiled hands, pat and pull it into a rough rectangle. Stretch and fold dough from top and bottom into thirds, like a business letter, then from the left and right side in the same way.
Gather dough into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Repeat these stretches and folds for 3 more times, at 10 minute intervals.
After the last fold, place dough in the refrigerator overnight. (For easier storage in the fridge, I usually divide the dough in half, and place both pieces in plastic containers with lid).
Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using, to come to room temperature.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, and pre-shape into rounds. Let pieces relax for 10 minutes (covered), then shape them into strands.
Place kamut rolls, seam-side down, on 2 parchment-lined, or perforated (greased) baking sheets. Dust rolls with flour, then mist with oil spray and cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Preheat oven to 410ºF/210ºC, including steaming device.
Proof rolls for ca. 30 minutes (finger poke test: an indentation made with your finger should still be elastic, but remain visible). Score each roll lengthwise.
Place kamut rolls in oven, pour a cup of boiling water in steam pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove steaming device, rotate (and flip, if you bake on 2 tiers) baking sheet(s), and continue baking for another 15 minutes, until rolls are golden brown and register at least 200ºF/93ºC.
Transfer rolls to wire rack to cool.
STORAGE: Keep Kamut Rolls for 1 day in a brown paper bag, or place in a ZipLock bag in the freezer. Mist (thawed) rolls with water, and re-crisp them at 375ºF/190ºC in oven.