Heavenly Hard Rolls

Heidi Hoerman Recipe

By Heidi Hoerman heidicookssupper

3 Hr 45 Min
35 Min

Hard rolls, those with soft, pillow-y insides and crunchy-chewy crusts are difficult to find outside the older cities of the North and East. As independent bakers become harder to find, so do the rolls.

These rolls are best made with a "00" Italian bread flour like Pivetti Rinzfornato 00. Many such flours are only sold in large bags to bakeries but a variety of internet vendors now repackage these in quantities more likely to meet the needs of home cooks. I got this flour from nybakers.com.

This recipe uses two techniques that may be new to most American home cooks and I'm a recent convert. Both of them are actually quite easy to master.
First is using a scale and metric measurements to apportion ingredients. Second is using a stretch-and-fold technique instead of kneading.

An inexpensive digital kitchen scale from a discount store is a wonderful thing to have in the kitchen both for weighing ingredients for bread and for controlling portions for your family. Look for a scale with a "tare" button that allows you to set the scale back to zero when you put an empty bowl on it.

pinch tips: How to Cook Scrambled Eggs


700 g
pivetti 00 rinzfornato flour or other fine bread or pizza flour
12 g
8 g
instant yeast
490 g
egg whisked with about 1 teaspoon water
poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or other topping if desired.

Directions Step-By-Step

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Stir in water with a spoon until a ragged mass forms and all lose flour is incorporated but don't worry too much about lumps -- similar to mixing biscuit dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
On a lightly oiled surface, do one stretch-and-fold, working in or discarding any remaining dry lumps of flour, return to bowl, cover and let sit 45 minutes.
STRETCH-AND-FOLD INSTRUCTIONS: lightly oil a flat surface about 12" x 18" in area. Flop the dough out of the bowl and onto the oiled surface. Use your hands to stretch or gently press the dough into a rectangle. Fold the rectangle of dough in thirds as you would a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper to put in a business envelope. Then fold in thirds again the other way. Flop the resulting roll of dough back into the bowl. With each successive stretch-and-fold, the dough with develop more gluten and be harder to stretch.
Do a second stretch-and-fold, return to bowl, cover and let sit 45 minutes.
Do a third stretch-and-fold, oil the bowl and return the dough to it, cover and let sit 45 minutes.
Divide into 12 equal pieces. (The scale can again be useful here.) Gently shape into balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets for eventual baking. Let rest another 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F and make the egg wash by whisking the egg and 1 teaspoon of water together.
Paint the rolls with an egg wash and optionally, sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or other garnish. Wait 2 minutes and repeat egg wash and poppy seeds. Optionally, score a cross in the top with a very sharp knife for decoration.
Bake for 35 minutes or until they are golden and the interior temperature is 200F. Flip upside down or place on a rack to cool thoroughly before eating.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Breads
Hashtags: #Rolls, #chewy, #hard, #kaiser

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Aug 16, 2011 - Heidi Hoerman shared this recipe with discussion groups: What's Cookin' Today? Italian Bread Quest TRIED & TRUE RECIPES
Aug 16, 2011 - Heidi Hoerman shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Aug 16, 2011 - Heidi Hoerman shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Helene Mulvihill WeBakeinTX
Aug 16, 2011
My husband is going to be sooo excited when I make these!!! We are transplants from NJ to Texas... This IS the reason I bake!! yumm!!
Bonnie D. Utahn
Aug 16, 2011
Heidi, these look scrumptious! I like your pictures, too. It is so nice to see what it really looks like step by step. Glad you are back! :D
L D windella
Aug 17, 2011
These rolls look wonderful,I have a scale but never use it!
Juliann Esquivel Juliann
Aug 17, 2011
Hi Heidi these rolls look wonderful. I need to go out and buy myself a scale. I am lost with your measurements. I guess the scale has to be metric and will show grams. I have been fighting metric measurments for the longest time. They are really confusing to me. I guess because we were taught back in the day when I was growing up to measure in onces, cups, teaspoons and pounds. I would really like to try this hard roll recipe. Will let you know how it turns out for me. Once I go out and buy the scale. Great to see you back. LOL
Aug 17, 2011 - Christine Fernandez shared this recipe with discussion group: Kiss the Chef
Heidi Hoerman heidicookssupper
Aug 17, 2011
Don't think of them as "metric," Juliann. Just think of them as numbers. It turns out to be easier than dealing with cups and tablespoons.

I put a small empty bowl on the scale and hit the "tare" button which cancels out the weight of the bowl. Then I just pour in whatever the ingredient is until I get to the number I want. Then I dump that ingredient into the mixing bowl and start again with zero for the next ingredient. You don't have to keep count and worry "did I just put in 5 cups or only 4." If you pour out too much, you just spoon it back into your storage container until you are back to the right amount. With the water, you don't have to hold the cup right at eye level and wonder if the water is up to the line or over it. Just weigh it like the flour and everything else.

Most of the digital scales you would buy at Walmart or Target or wherever will have both our usual English measures and metric. I initially bought mine to keep track of portion sizes for dieting. I still use it to measure 4 ounce portions when I'm freezing lots of pulled pork, chicken, etc. I also use it to measure servings of dry pasta to get just the right amount for the two of us after it's boiled -- much easier than eyeballing it. Serving size is on the side of the pasta box. I think we spent about $20 for the scale about 5 years ago and it's still on its first AA batteries! A bargain. The cheapest one right now on the Walmart site is only $18 and has everything you need: ounces, grams, and a tare button.
Juliann Esquivel Juliann
Aug 17, 2011
Thanks for the info Heidi. You make it sound so easy. I am going up this weekend to Florida City to Walmarts. I am going to pick up my scale. LOL
Robert Nelson bobo1955
Aug 17, 2011
I must being doing somthing wrong I got on that internent nybakers.com and I could not find that 00 flour you were talking about, I even called that no. but all I got was a voice mail.can you help out lol
Heidi Hoerman heidicookssupper
Aug 17, 2011
Here's the link nybakers.com/euro.html
Scroll down until you get to
"Imported Tipo 00 Rinforzato Flour"

For each page on the site, you need to scroll down to see the flours. At first, I thought I wasn't finding anything either.
Aug 17, 2011 - Eve Anderson(AKA-POETGRL) shared this recipe with discussion group: BREADS AND BISCUITS!
Pam Ellingson wmnofoz
Nov 29, 2011
Bob, King Arthur flour has Italian bread flours too. Just go to Kingarthurflour.com if you can't find the nybakers product.