The first post in 2017 found its inspiration back in 2016. When I put together my “Best of 2016” I stumbled upon upon a readers question for rolls with open crumb. Back then I suggested this Baguette rolls and then the question slowly slipped from my mind. It has a simple reason: I normally prefer rolls with a finer crumb as we eat them mainly for breakfast and a wide open crumb means honey dropping all over the place. But during vacations we like to eat rolls for lunch or dinner, too. And with a slide of cheese a chiabatta-like roll is a delicious thing.
But the infection I catch before christmas was a mean one and so I spent most of my vacation on the sofa with hot tea and a good book – slowly recovering. I slept a lot, but baked nearly nothing and we went not for shopping food either but feed on our well stocked pantry and fridge. When we finally had to buy some groceries I discovered something new in our supermarket: organic pysillum hulls. I find their water binding capacity fascinating and so a package went home with me.
Pysllum hulls are the seed hulls (most often) from the Indian Plantago ovata (and other relatives, sometimes called Plantago psyllium, too) and can bind high amounts of water. When I played around with the hulls back in my kitchen, a mixture of 10 Gramm of Pyslium hulls could bind 80g water to form a stable gel. The opens many options beside the use as dietary fibre. Most famous is the use of it as binding agent in gluten free baking. But in “normal” baking it can be used, too, for increasing the hydration of a dough without making the dough hard to handle. And with the increased hydration the bread stays longer fresh.
And so we come back to the ciabatta-like rolls. Because they came to my mind when I was looking on the psyllium hulls. Such a dough would be the right thing to test the behaviour of psyllium. I mixed a dough with some sourdough from the fridge, flour, water, yeast and salt. The dough was soft, but good to handle, feeling more like a dough with about 78% Hydration then 88%. I then let the dough ferment for quit some hours, folding it once in a while. In the end the dough was silky and bubbly and covered with some bran it was easy to cut it into squares which I baked directly. The rolls I took from the oven had a big volume and felt light, promising an open crumb under their darkly baked crust. And they kept that promise and more – mild aromatic, with a crunchy crust and as light as air there was just a name that came to my mind: Luftikus ( This is a bit archaic term which describes a happy-go-lucky person. But as it stems from the German word for “airy” (luftig), it seems quit fitting for me).
yields 9 rolls
- 500g flour Type 550
- 5g Psyllium hulls
- 50g Sourdough from the fridge (100% Hydration)
- 380g Water Part 1
- 10g Salt
- 2g diastic Malt
- 6g Hefe
- 35g Water Part 2
- (Oat-) Bran
Mix flour, psyllium hulls, sourdough, water part 1, malt, salt and yeast and knead for 12 min at slow speed and another 2 min at high speed. At this point, the gluten network should be very well developed. Now start to add slowly the water part 2 in small increments. Knead until fully incooperated.
If possible, place the dough in a square container, as this makes it later more easy to cut the dough into squares. Ferment for 6 hours, folding every 45 min the first 4 hours. After 6 hours the dough should be bubbly.
Heat the oven to 250°C
Sprinkle the surface generously with bran and carefully transfer the dough on the countertop. Take care to keep as many air bubbles in the dough as possible. As now the other side is facing upwards, sprinkle these side of the dough with bran, too. With a dough scrapper cut the dough into 9 squares of the same size. Carefully place them on a baking tray.
Bake at 250°C for 10 min with steam, then reduce the heat to 230°C and turn the mode to convection to increase the crispiness. Bake for another 15 min.