Crusty French Rolls
Makes 18 Small or 12 Medium Rolls
1 & 3/4 to 2 C warm water
2 packages of yeast
2 t sugar
1 t salt
4 C unbleached white flour
1 T cornmeal
1 egg white
1T cold water
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1 C of warm water. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook and start mixing on low speed. Slowly add the water/yeast mixture and enough additional water until the dough forms an elastic ball. Continue mixing for 5 minutes more.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 12 to 18 portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place it on a greased baking sheet which has been sprinkled with corn meal. Let the dough balls raise covered in a warm, draft free area until they are doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Brush the tops with egg white mixed with the cold water. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Brush the tops again with the egg white/water mixture and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown. The medium sized rolls will take a bit longer than the small sized ones. Bake the medium sized rolls at 375F for about 10 minutes additional total baking time.
Let them cool on racks or place them in a warm bread basket to serve immediately. (Of course the cook should always take one immediately, butter and eat it to check the quality 😉