Poppy Seed Pull-apart Rolls: Part 1
A tasty bread using only the simplest of ingredients (flour, water, oil, salt and yeast). A preferment adds flavor and helps keep the bread fresh.
!?Preferment?! What's that? A preferment is yeast-risen dough used as an ingredient in a subsequent bread recipe. You don't make bread directly from it - it is only one ingredient in the final bread recipe. The preferment has one rise. The final recipe will have it's own additional rises before it is baked. This post gives instructions for making the preferment.
The recipe yeilds about 20 rolls or two loaves. Or you can make one loaf and use the rest for rolls. If you don't want the poppy seeds, leave 'em out!
Important Note on Measuring Ingredients
Ingredients are given by weight and by volume. I always weigh the major ingredients (small amounts, such as yeast or salt, I measure by volume). You may rely on the weight measurements, however the corresponding volume measurement is only an approximation.
Measuring flour by volume is especially problematic. I assume that one level cup of flour is about 4.5 oz
. Many people have a heavier hand when measuring flour and end up with about 5 oz per cup. If you can't weigh your flour, reserve a portion of the amount called for and add it in increments until the kneaded dough is smooth but slightly tacky.
Technically, this preferment is a biga
, since it is a saltless dough.
The final bread recipe calls for 12 oz of this preferment. I use this preferment in many kinds of bread, so I make 3 pounds at a time and freeze it in smaller packets so I always have some on hand. Frozen preferment keeps for about 6 months. If you want to make extra, click here for the recipe and instructions
(scroll down to the Biga Recipe
Section). If you insist on making just enough for this recipe, the ingredients are given below.
Preferment Ingredients (yeild: 12 ounces / 340 grams)
________________OZ_____GM________VOLUME___________ _Baker's Percentage
Bread Flour_____7.2____204.0____ ~ 1 & 2/3 cups________100.0%
Water___________4.8____136.0_____~ 6 TBS________________66.7%
Instant_yeast___0.02_____0.7_____~ 1/4 tsp_______________0.3%
Measure/weigh the flour and put in your mixing bowl. Then remove a small amount and put it in a separate bowl. This is your reserve for hand kneading.
If using instant yeast (such as "Rapid Rise" or "SAF Red"), add it to the flour in your mixing bowl and stir it in.
Measure/weigh the water in a separate container.
If using Active Dry yeast, add it to the water and stir it in. Let it dissolve (about 5 minutes).
Add water to flour. Mix/beat/knead until the water is incorporated and a slightly tacky dough is formed. (If using a stand mixer with dough hook, beat on low speed - KitchenAid speed 2 - about 4 minutes after dough balls on the hook.)
Sprinkle your reserve flour on the board. Scrape dough from mixing bowl onto board and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and supple but still somewhat tacky. Do NOT use more flour beyond your reserve!
A dough scraper will come in handy for this part. You may at times lightly
oil the scraper, your hands and/or the board if the dough is too sticky.
Lightly oil the mixer bowl (you do not need to wash it first). Place the preferment in the mixer bowl, rotate it in a full circle and then turn upside-down so there is a light film of oil on top. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
Let dough rise until doubled in bulk. Given the small amount of yeast, the rise can be very slow at room temperature. I strongly recommend letting the biga rise overnight in the refrigerator, as this helps it develop flavor.
After the dough has risen, it is ready to be used in the final recipe. If you wish to hold the preferment, knead it briefly to degass and keep it, well wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (If you refrigerate it beyond this time, it can develop an acidic or yeasty taste that may not be to your liking.)
Stay tuned for part 2, which gives the final bread recipe