Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Picnic rolls for the early bird

Our corner of Spain is apparently the windiest place in Spain right after the southernmost tip of the country. And when the wind blows, my God, it blows. The noise is enough to keep a grown man awake. And if it isn't the grown man's snoring is enough to keep everybody else awake... So, sometimes one just has to give up on the dream of a good night's sleep (the other alternative would involve an axe, so getting up just might be the more sensible thing to do) and find something else to do. Such as baking and bread-making.

The Mother-in-law is always puzzled witnessing this. "Doesn't she know shops sell bread?" she keeps asking.

And sure they do. But there's something so magical and comforting about the smell of freshly-baked bread straight out of the oven that it's well worth the effort.

This time the plan was to bake that much-beloved serrano ham into rolls. But then the idea (sleep-deprived, hyper) took on a life of it's own and I got thinking that with the same effort I could just bake the entire antipasti- selection in the fridge into the rolls. You know, to make the kind of ultimate picnic roll! And sure you can do that. But in the name of aesthetics, purism and the ease of the actual rolling... there's nothing wrong with just settling for the ham.

makes 12 rolls

The dough:

2 dl warm water
12.5 g yeast
4,5 - 5 dl all purpose flour
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
(if you want, you could add 1 tbsp of herbs of your choice: rosemary for one would be lovely)


6 slices of serrano ham 
1 tbsp pine nuts
(and/ or olives, pickled pearl onions, sun-dried tomatos... anything you want)

For brushing: 


Let the yeast dissolve in warm water and mix in sugar. Let rest for a little while while the yeast activates. Then add 1 dl of flour and mix. Then add salt and the remaining flour. When the dough starts to form a dough that won't stick to your hands add oil and form into a smooth dough. Place it in a bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Knead the dough getting rid of the air. Roll out to a sheet (30 cm x 30 cm) on floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle the pine nuts on the sheet and then place the ham evenly on top. Roll fairly tightly. Cut in 12 and place the portions in a muffing tray the cut side up. Cover with a cloth and let rise for around half an hour. Brush with oil (this is a great way to use up all the oil leftover at the bottom of sun-dried tomato jars and the like. Never throw the oil away after you've eaten the goodies - the oil, having soaked up all the flavours is just divine!) Bake in 200 for 15-20 minutes.

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