My paternal grandmother was born in County Waterford, Ireland, and could always be counted on to bake delicious rolls and biscuits. When one of my cousins came across a story about blaa, a variety of bread native to Granma’s birthplace, I was intrigued. Would this recipe come closer to Granma’s famous rolls than the recipe we’re using?
The original recipe in the story yielded a huge amount of bread, so I cut down the recipe and reworked the process a bit so I could make the dough in the bread machine.
The results were terrific. These are not Granma’s rolls, but they’re a great sandwich roll (and, if you made them half the size, a perfect dinner roll.) These are similar to the “snowflake rolls” we used to buy in northern-New Jersey bakeries when I was growing up. I haven’t been able to find those here in the Philadelphia area.
Because all my research into blaa bread indicated that “if it’s not from Waterford, it’s not blaa” I’ve named these Waterford Rolls. This recipe was definitely a keeper!
Note that the rising time for these rolls is considerably longer than for other breads–about 3 hours total after the 2-hour bread machine cycle is complete.
Yield: 8 large rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
3 1/3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
Place ingredients in your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and start the dough cycle.
When the cycle is completed, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and punch it down. The dough will be a little on the tacky side. Sprinkle flour over the dough, cover with a tea towel and allow to rest 30 to 45 minutes.
Punch the dough down again, then flour the surface some more and shape into 8 rolls. (I folded it into an oblong shape, cut it in half, then cut each half into four squares.)
Flour a quarter-sheet pan or 9×13 baking pan. Place rolls in pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425. Bake 15 minutes. Tops should be just turning golden brown.
Allow rolls to cool in pan about 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.