Recipe for Bolillos (Mexican Rolls)


3 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cup warm water (108f to 110f)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup gluten flour
1 starter sponge (above)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon very soft butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup gluten flour (see note)
1/2 cup warm water mixed with 2 teaspoons s; alt


The starter sponge:

Whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, set in a warm place and let rise, undisturbed, for 1 hour.

The dough:

Combine the sponge, salt, butter, cinnamon, 3 cups of the unbleached flour and the gluten flour.

Using the flat paddle attachment of a heavy duty mixer, beat the dough for at least 4 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a board and knead in the remaining 1/2 cup flour. (If you do not have a heavy duty mixer, knead the dough by hand for at least 10 minutes, incorporating the 1/2 cup flour.)

The dough tends to be sticky, so have patience. However, the finished dough should be on the softer-stickier side rather than being perfectly smooth.

During the beating and kneading process, the dough should develop long, stretchy++strands a sign that the gluten has been well developed. This is necessary to finished rolls.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat with grease, then cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

To shape:

Punch down the dough.and turn out onto a floured board. Pinch off 12 equal-size pieces of dough.

With floured hands, roll each piece into an oblong, turning rough edges under with your fingers.

To achieve the pointed tips, gently pull the ends of each oblong, giving a slight twist as you pull. If the bolillos have sort of a rough surface, all the better. They will look authentic.

Place the bolillos on heavy baking sheets that have been greased or lined with parchment. Make a each roll.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour the salted water into a spray bottle.

Bake bolillos for 10 minutes, misting with the salt water at least 3 or 4 times. This will produce a crusty exterior.

Reduce oven temperature to 375F and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until rolls are golden brown.

Makes 12 bolillos.

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