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malted dimple rolls

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Dimple rolls

A recently refreshed sourdough starter, malted flakes or powder, some whole grains and a dimple.

I got bored of the usual round or oblong shaped bread rolls so decided to go for dimpled ones. A chopstick or a thin handle of a wooden spoon will be handy to make the trench with; and please do not ask me to explain why they are called dimple rolls.

They look a little like coffee beans or wheat grains. A beetle or a ladybird at a big push. But dimples? I sure know what Cheryl Tweedy/Cole/Forgodssake-Decidewoman (delete as appropriate) or Matthew McConaughey sport on their cheeks and it’s nothing like a crack in the flesh: it’s a cute indentation, a dip, a dent. Incidentally, it’s a birth defect: a genetically transmitted abnormality of a muscle in the cheek. There - take that, Brad Pitt!

Malted dimple bread rolls

The only dimples that my bread rolls come close to resembling are Sean Connery’s – and I’d personally call them wrinkles.

Still, the bread gurus of this world have christened those buns of two halves ‘dimple rolls’ so who am I to argue? All I can say is that they are super sociable little numbers – they beg to be shared.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • Makes 8
  • For the sponge:
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 250ml warm water (or at room temperature if you’re going to leave the sponge overnight)
  • 150g sourdough starter
  • For the dough:
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp malt powder or malt syrup
  • 30g millet grain (or any whole grain)
  • 30g malted wheat flakes (or toasted barley or oats flakes)
  • ½ tbsp. fine salt

Grains

METHOD

The recipe for those who have a sourdough starter stashed away in the fridge – any wheat starter will do, at about 100% hydration so fairly sloppy. If you need to make it up first, here’s the recipe for the San Francisco starter, and this is the Tartine starter.  

Refresh the starter, if you need to, on the day you make the sponge, but at least 8 hours earlier. Possible timing guidelines:

Day 1 midday – refresh starter
Day 1 night – make the sponge
Day 2 – make the main dough and bake

For the sponge, mix all the sponge ingredients in a large bowl with a hand whisk. Cover with a damp cloth and leave at room temperature overnight. It should get seriously bubbling.

Transfer the sponge to a standing mixer bowl (or use a hand-held mixer) with a paddle attachment. Add half the flour and beat for a couple of minutes on low speed, then for further 8-10 minutes on medium speed. Add the rest of the flour, the grains and flakes and the salt and beat with a dough hook attachment, or knead by hand, until the dough is stretchy, elastic and smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands or the sides of the bowl.

Malted bread dough

Tip it into a lightly greased large shallow bowl or a plastic container. Cover and leave in a warm place for an hour. After that time grab the underside of the dough with oiled hands, stretch and fold it in three like and envelope and then in three in the opposite direction. Cover and keep warm for another hour.

Repeat the stretching and folding twice more, on the hour. After the final rise turn it out onto the floured surface and divide into 8 pieces, about 100g each. Shape each loosely into a round and leave covered with a towel for 20 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Shape the rolls into tight balls or oblong batards and place on the sheet, well-spaced out. Using a chopstick or a thin wooden spoon handle, make a deep trench across each roll going all the way down but making sure not to split them.

Shaping dimple rolls

Cover with cling film and prove in a warm place for an hour, until risen by half. Alternatively, refrigerate overnight and bake the next morning having brought them back to room temperature (about 3 hours) – that will deepen the flavour.

Preheat the oven to 220C/450F/gas 8. Place another baking dish at the bottom of the oven, or prepare a spray bottle.

French dimple rolls

Transfer the risen rolls into the oven, throw a very wet cloth onto the bottom tray or spray the inside of the oven with water and close it immediately. Bake the rolls for 15 - 20 minutes until very lightly golden.

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