I didn't really know what to call these rolls. I mean, they're half whole wheat flour, half all purpose flour…they're actually made from a pizza dough…well, I'll tell you what I did, and if you can think of a good name for them, feel free to leave it in the comments section.
I'd made a double batch of pizza dough Wednesday night, but I only used half of it to make pizzas for dinner. I had more than enough. So I saved the dough in the fridge, figuring I'd make something with it over the weekend.
Then on Thursday night when I was making the soup, I wanted something bready to serve with it. Hmmmmm…
So I took the bowl of dough out of the fridge and put it on the stove to warm up while the soup simmered. It had risen a bit in the fridge, so I poked it down with my fingers. Those are the indentations you see.
Now, I'd been thinking about what I wanted to do with these little rolls. And cornmeal popped into my head. Probably because I'd made a Portuguese bread a while back called Broa that has – you guessed it – cornmeal in it.
So I figured I'd knead some cornmeal into the little rolls as I shaped them. Just to add a bit of texture.
I still wanted to give them a bit more crunch, and I also wanted them to look interesting. So I made a mixture of cornmeal, coarse sea salt, and a lot of ground black pepper.
I sprayed some water in the oven as I slid the baking sheet in, and I baked the rolls for about 25 minutes. When they were done, I put the baking sheet on top of the oven to keep them warm until dinner, about half an hour later.
These little rolls were perfect with the Caldo Verde – dense and chewy with a salty, peppery crunch on top. A little smear of butter, a little dunk in the hot soup – yummy.
Here's the recipe, in case you'd like to make these yourself.
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
Put everything in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the dough hook, combine until a soft, slightly sticky dough is formed. You may need to add a bit more flour.
Knead briefly and place dough in a a bowl well oiled with olive oil.
Allow dough to double, and then punch it down.
Allow to rise again, and either refrigerate or divide into 12 pieces.
Sprinkle some flour and cornmeal on your work surface. Knead and shape each of the 12 pieces of dough into a little ball, working some of the cornmeal mixture into the dough as you go.
Place all the dough balls on a parchment lined sheet pan and cover with a towel.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat one egg and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, combine the following:
3 T cornmeal
1 T coarse sea salt
8-12 grinds of black pepper
When the oven is ready and the rolls are puffy, brush each one with a little of the egg and sprinkle with some of the cornmeal/salt/pepper mixture.
Place baking sheet on a middle rack in the oven, spray with a spray bottle (on the mist setting – this isn't target practice) a few times, and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Let cool about ten minutes before you tear them apart and devour them.