Ruth’s rolls

Ruth’s hard dinner rolls or boule

    4 c. all-purpose or bread flour – a little whole wheat adds to the flavor
    ½ t. yeast
    2 t. salt
    Combine all these ingredients. Add:
    2 c. warm water

Stir – dough will be shaggy / sticky.

Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest 12-16 hours in a warm place.

Lightly flour a work surface, and shape the dough into a ball. Cover lightly and let it rise again for about 2 hours.

You may bake it this way as a boule or divide the dough into rolls.

Start pre-heating the oven to 450. If you are making a boule, bake it in a covered cast iron pot that is heated to oven temperature.  Overturn the bowl onto the towel and place the dough in the pot, seam side up. This won’t show once it bakes! Bake it 30 minutes with the top on and then another 15-30 minutes without the cover.

If you are making rolls, divide the dough and kneed each little roll into shape.

Brush with water (crunchy) or butter (soft) and then slice the tops. Top with sesame or salt or caraway, etc.. Bake about 20 minutes, until browned as you like them.

Doubling this recipe works well, too.

From the Recipe Box of: Michelle Miller

Recipe Story:

Ruth and Dick Zinniker founded the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, in East Troy, WI. They ran the first biodynamic farm in North America, and their farming experience was the basis for MFAI. Dick met Ruth in Switzerland during WW2 at a biodynamic farming conference. After the war, Ruth fled her home farm in Germany and came to the US, where she and Dick were married. She kept a traditional German household, and regularly baked rolls for events at MFAI, much to the delight of conference goers. We would ask for the recipe, but she insisted that we learn directly from her. In the mid-1990s, a small group of us spent a Saturday at her farmhouse to learn how to make these rolls. She did it all by feel, so we each took notes and compared them later. I've carried this recipe in my day planner and now it lives on every computer and in every recipe box I own. It is fundamental to me in many ways. The recipe evolved out of that day of communal bread baking and my experience over time. I used to be the baker of bricks, but thanks to Ruth, I now bake bread.

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