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  RECIPE TITLE "Italian Breadstick Rolls" source: Sunset magazine Feb 1998

yields Makes 16 rolls.time--difficultyeasy to moderate

In Italy, these whimsical dinner rolls are dubbed garofani, or carnations. We call our modified version breadstick rolls. Their unruly appendanges have the taste and crusty texture of breadsticks; their centers are soft and chewy.

The dough--and the way you shape and bake it--gives these rolls their distinctive features. The dough resembles modeling clay; it's stiffer than what you may be accustomed to, because it contains more flour. That consistency, however, maintains shape and gives the bread a somewhat denser texture. You cut the firm dough to make a fringed strip, then roll it up. The cut surfaces open up and become crisply crusted when baked.

Cook these rolls at a high temperature and spray intermittently with water to obtain a hard, shiny surface. Since it takes a few minutes to shape each pan of rolls, you can bake pans in sequence if you have only one oven.

These rolls are best freshly baked. If made more than 8 hours ahead, freeze, then thaw and reheat later.

  RECIPE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110|)
  • 6 1/4 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

  RECIPE METHOD

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water; let stand about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the flour, oil, and salt. Beat with a dough hook or a mixer on low speed until flour is incorporated, then beat on high speed until dough is shiny, satiny, and stretchy, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add 2 cups flour.

If using a dough hook, beat dough on low speed until flour is incorporated, then beat on high speed until dough is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually and another 1 1/4 cups flour, beating until flour is incorporated (if dough becomes too heavy for the machine, scrape dough onto a board and knead in remaining flour). Turn dough onto a floured board, and knead, adding flour if required, until dough is smooth, dense, firm, and nonsticky, with a feel similar to modeling clay, about 5 minutes.

If using a mixer, now switch to a heavy spoon and stir in as much flour as possible. Scrape dough onto a floured board; knead smooth. Gradually knead in 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups flour until dough is smooth, dense, firm, and nonsticky, and feels like modeling clay, about 10 minutes.

Return dough to bowl. Cover with clear plastic wrap and set in a warm place until dough softens and puffs slightly (not doubled,) 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Shape dough into a 16-inch-long loaf and slice crosswise into 16 equal pieces; keep covered with plastic wrap while shaping each piece. Roll or pat each dough section into a 2- by 8-inch strip. Along 1 long side, make 1 1/2-inch-deep slashes about 3/4 inch apart. Starting at narrow side, roll up strip, then pinch uncut end to seal; set uncut side down on greased 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, letting cut ends open up over base. Repeat with remaining pieces, placing rolls about 1 1/2 inches apart on pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place. Let rise until rolls puff slightly, 20 to 30 minutes.

Place rolls in a 425| oven, bake 3 to 4 minutes, then spray bread all over with a fine mist of water. Continue baking, spraying with water 2 more times, about 3 minutes apart. Bake until rolls are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes total; if more than 1 pan is in the oven, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

Transfer the rolls to racks. Serve warm or cool. Store at room temperature up to 8 hours; freeze for longer storage. To reheat, place thawed rolls in a single layer on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Bake in a 400| oven just until warm, 5 to 7 minutes.

COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.

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