For the benefit of those home bakers who'd like to try a hand at making Brazilian-style French rolls (click here to read about them) or for Brazilians living outside Brazil who are dying of saudade for the aroma, the crunch and the taste of pão francês, we're publishing below a recipe for a home-made version of that iconic Brazilian bread.
Terra Culinaria, a large internet collection of Brazilian recipes. The translation and adaptation is by Flavors of Brazil. If any of our readers makes this recipe, we'd love to hear about the results. Just leave a comment below if you'd like to critique the recipe.
RECIPE - Brazilian-style French Rolls ( Pão Francês Caseiro)
makes 20 rolls
8 cups (1 kg) all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup ice water
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp dry active yeast
1 tsp granulated white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
Sift together the flour, the sugar and the salt. Place the sifted flour in a large mixing bowl. Proof the yeast in the 1 1/2 cup warm water, then add the vegetable oil. Slowly add the mixture to the flour in the bowl, mixing in each addition before adding more, using a wooden spoon. Then begin to add the ice water, again in small amounts, incorporating each addition before adding more, using your hands. When the dough becomes smooth and elastic, stop adding water.
Turn the dough out onto a floured working surface. Using floured hands, knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, use a Kitchen-aid or similar home mixer equipped with a dough hook. Stop kneading when the dough is smooth, non-sticky, and springs back when poked with a fingertip. Form the dough into a large ball.
Put the dough in a clean large bowl, cover with a clean towel, and leave in a warm, undraughty place for 30 minutes.
Return the dough to the floured work surface. Divide into 20 equal-size portions. Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten it. Roll the flattened ball into an elongated, spiral shape. When finished, put the rolls on one or two non-stick baking sheets, well-separated, then cover with clean towels and let rise until they have doubled in size (normally about one hour).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F (220C). As soon as the rolls have doubled in size, using a razor blade or very sharp knife, cut into each roll in the long direction. Put them in the hot oven.
Fill a clean spray bottle with water. As soon as the rolls begin to brown, quickly open the oven door, mist the rolls lightly with water, and close the door. Continue to bake the bread until the rolls are nicely browned and, if tapped, sound hollow.
Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool on wire racks.