word was out, rosetta rolls were in

The word was out. The hunt was on. Rosetta rolls were in.

Rosetta rolls, were the latest thing to plant them selves in my head. An idea that jiggled around like a salsa dancer with funny itch. Ok, maybe not quite like that, but the seed had been planted. I wanted to make rosetta rolls. Those crusty little Italian rolls in the shape of flower, quite often hollow inside, and if my memory served me correctly more than moderately delicious stuffed full with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. Once an idea implants itself within, it’s pretty hard to shake off that salsa dancer with the funny itch, so I sent out a call for help.

The Bread Goddesses (Celia and Joanna) heeded the call and the hunt began in earnest. Not much longer than 48 hours after the call had gone out and I had a press in my hand. Now that was surprisingly quick for something at the start of my search seemed completely futile, and that clearly I would have to travel to Italy to go and find my own bread stamp. I was certainly willing…sometimes these kind of things just need to be done.

First batch I did a sourdough version and a yeasted version.

Sourdough Rosetta rolls– first batch

200g starter (100% hydration)

450g strong bakers flour

300mls water

1 1/4 tsp salt

(The difference between the colours is top and bottom shelf in the oven.)

(Second batch substituting 100g of the flour with semolina.)

Yeasted Rosetta Rolls- first batch

50g starter

1 tsp dried yeast

125mls warm water

2 tbls flour

whisked together and left for two hours, (this wasn’t a particular method, I just needed to go out.)

Then mixed in

450g flour

250mls water

waited 15 minutes then added

1 1/2 tsp salt

Prove for about an hour, quick knead and then another prove for another hour or so. (It was a cool day)

For shaping both kinds of rolls. I divided the dough into 8. Flatten quickly, then pulled the corners into the middle, with the idea of trapping as much air as possible. Flipped it over and gently tightened it all by using a pushing action going under the roll and spinning it around. On to tray and used the wonderful little stamp dipped in a little vegetable oil.

Baked at 240C with lots of steam.

Second go, and I didn’t bother with the yeasted ones, life is a whole lot nicer with sourdough. The same ingredients and quantities as the first batch but this time substituting 100g of the flour for semolina. This using a little rye flour with the stamp on top to hopefully stop the bread for joining again after using the stamp.

Any difference between the oil and rye with the stamp formation? Not noticeably. Some of the bread rolls had joined a little and some kept the perfect markings. With the addition of the semolina, I’m not sure yet. I think I’ll keep tweaking the semolina and bakers flour ratio though.

second batch with semolina

Anyone else willing to heed the call of the rosetta?…Or simply have a salsa dancer with a funny itch of an idea?

This post submitted to yeastspotting.

Cardamom Semolina Diamonds

Indian Semolina Balls.

That’s what I’ve got these little cardamom treats written down as. A recipe that is well entwined into my childhood memories with cardamom flavours, plump sultanas and nutty cashews. Given half the chance I would have eaten my weight in these little things. One, two…oops, ten.

I’d re-written the recipe from my mum’s recipe folder a long time ago, although had only vaguely written down the quantities and even more vaguely written down the method. I knew how they were supposed to taste, but wasn’t so sure how to get there. Then I realised I didn’t have cashews…. and I didn’t think I really wanted to roll them anyway… So that changes a few things doesn’t it.

Indian Semolina Balls turned into squares? That’s not so exciting.

Diamonds?….much more enticing.

Cashews? I never have them about…

I’ve got flaked almonds though…would that work?

Cardamom Semolina Diamonds

(Inspired from my mum, and before that a 70’s Indian Vegetarian Recipe Book)

4 tbls ghee

1 cup semolina

1 cup loose brown sugar

1 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp cardamom

toasted flaked almonds

Melt ghee in a pot, add semolina and fry until golden. Add brown sugar and cardamom, mix through. Add milk and handful of sultanas. Stir until thickens. Pour into square tin, press down and add flaked almonds. Into fridge until hardens up a bit. (or wait until mixture cools and roll into balls, replacing almonds with toasted cashews.)

10 minutes tops to make, if you’ve already got the toasted almond flakes.

Sri Lankan Love Cake

What do I think of when I think of Sri Lanka, little island in the Indian Ocean?

Beautiful white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees. Swinging in a hammock, being hypnotized by the sound of crashing waves.

Fish on your plate at dinner time. So fresh, you can still hear the whispered words of the fisherman I wonder how much I will get for this big one?

Wild majestic elephants being heard in the near by jungle as you sip your locally grown tea.

A selection of short eats (small entree sized finger food, Sri Lankan style tapas/yum cha to go- if you will) to choose from as you wonder around in search of the next ancient Buddhist temple to discover. Sri Lankan cuisine that is so full of flavours that your taste buds want to sing every time you eat.

Ancient rock fortress, Sigiriya. With so much history within its rocky walls, that you feel quite overwhelmed at the thought of how much this amazing rock had seen.

A kind of driving that can be only described as tiring. Honk when you are going to over take, honk when you are over taking, honk when you have over taken, honk when you would like to over take…and then begin again.

A country floored by the 2004 Tsunami.

Umbrella Lovers- if you wonder down to the beach, you will be sure to find some young couples sharing some ‘alone’ time, sitting under an umbrella. These umbrellas dot the surrounding areas, as couples shield themselves from prying eyes.

Buffalo yoghurt being made in earthen ware pots, lining the sides of the roads sitting in the sun. (similar to a Greek style yoghurt- thick and creamy, and oh sooo delicious.)

Love Cake, a cake with so many different recipes and variations. Usually made for celebrations. I hadn’t actually tasted this one before, but with the ingredients and the name…

Whats not to love?

Love Cake

150 gms crushed cashew nuts (cadjunuts)

125g semolina

3 eggs

150g sugar

125g softened butter

1 tbs rose water

1 1/2 tbs brandy

1/2 tps cinnamon

1/2 tps cardamom

1/2 tps nutmeg

Separate the eggs. Whisk together softened butter, 3 egg yolks, and sugar. Add semolina, cashews, rose water, brandy, spices.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks appear and fold into mixture. Cook in a square tin, greased and lined with paper. Bake at 180C for approx 25 minutes or until golden.

(recipe taken from a local Sri Lankan cookbook and adapted.)