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PAKISTAN CUISINE

Crusty French Rolls

Currently, it's


Crusty French Rolls
 
Here's a great time-saver: Prepare the rolls up to the baking stage a few days in advance. After the last rise, freeze them on the prepared baking sheet. About an hour before dinner, thaw and bake as instructed.

Serving: Yields: 16 rolls

INGREDIENTS

5 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal

DIRECTIONS

1. Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes in a warm place. Add 4 cups flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Beat with the paddle of an electric mixer or mix by hand until a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl forms -- about 10 minutes. Let the dough rest 10 minutes. With a dough hook and the mixer running, add remaining flour and knead another 5 minutes. Alternately, work the remaining flour into the dough by kneading for about 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary to form a soft, elastic dough. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place away from drafts until doubled in bulk, up to 2 or more hours. Punch down the risen dough and re-form into a ball. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size -- about 1 1/2 hours.

2. Form the rolls: Place a pan filled with hot water on the floor of the oven or on the lowest rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Form each piece into an oblong shape and place on a baking pan lightly dusted with cornmeal. Loosely cover and let rolls rise for 30 minutes.

3. Bake the rolls: Rub a little flour over the tops of the rolls. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, make a 1/4-inch-deep slash on the top of each roll. Slide the baking sheet into the upper third of the oven and bake until dark golden brown -- about 25 minutes. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and allow to cool 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to two days or freeze for up to 1 month.


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