the appetizer:

Pump up your baking skills with A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman, with recipes like Smash Apple Pie, Italian Hard Rolls, and Pralines-and-Cream Pecan-Caramel Muffins.



Italian Hard Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

Italian Hard Rolls
Click to buy A Passion for Baking


Enjoy these lean, crisp rolls that bake up rustic and satisfying. If you have sourdough starter on hand, you can substitute a cup of that instead of making this sponge.

2-Hour Sponge
  • 1 cup warm water
         (100 degrees F to 110 degrees F)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water
         (100 degrees F to 110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • All of the sponge (above)
Finishing Touches
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Melted butter or olive oil

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. (These rolls also bake up nicely on a baking stone.)

For 2-Hour Sponge, mix ingredients in a mixer bowl just to combine to a puddinglike consistency. Cover loosely (not airtight) and let bubble and stand 2 hours, stirring down if sponge threatens to bubble over.

For Dough, add water, honey, olive oil, salt, and flour to sponge in mixer bowl and stir to combine. Attach dough hook and knead on lowest speed of mixer about 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a cohesive, elastic dough. Remove dough hook and spray dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover entire mixer and bowl with a large clear plastic bag and let rise 45 to 90 minutes or until almost doubled.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Divide dough in 12 portions. Shape into oblong rolls.

Place rolls on prepared baking sheet. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and cover baking sheet with plastic wrap. Let rise 20 to 30 minutes until puffy. Score rolls, leave them plain, or snip them with scissors for a decorative effect. Dust with flour, if desired.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray rolls lightly with water; spritz oven as well. Bake until done and rolls are brown all over, 25 to 28 minutes. For shiny rolls with a less crispy crust, paint with melted butter or olive oil before baking.

  • from:
  • A Passion for Baking
  • Bake to Celebrate, Bake to Nourish, Bake for Fun
  • by Marcy Goldman
  • Oxmoor House, 2007
  • $29.95; hardcover; 320 pages; 160 full-color photographs throughout
  • ISBN-10: 0848731794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8487-3179-3
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy A Passion for Baking


A Passion for Baking:
Bake to Celebrate, Bake to Nourish, Bake for Fun


This page created April 2008

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