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Before Buffalo chicken wings there was Beef on Weck, a great upstate New York tradition involving hot, juicy roast beef on a salt- and caraway-encrusted hard roll. Here's the recipe for the rolls; the hot roast beef is up to you.
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten Flour
1 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
2 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons potato flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
equal parts caraway seeds, coarse salt and pumpernickel flour, mixed until well-combined
In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the topping, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough, by hand or by machine, for 10 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then knead for an additional 10 minutes, till it's smooth and supple. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. You may also use your bread machine, set on the Dough cycle, to prepare the dough to this point.
Divide the dough into six 3 1/4-ounce pieces, and shape them into smooth, slightly flattened rounds. Place them on a baking sheet, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until they're good and puffy.
Brush the rolls with a bit of melted butter, and sprinkle lightly* with the topping. Bake them in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack; they're best served the same day they're made, though they do reheat nicely. Yield: Six large rolls.
*Use more or less topping, according to your taste tolerance for salt.