- 1/2 cup cool water
- 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
- all of the starter
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- egg wash
- 1 large egg white mixed with 1/2 cup cool water
- To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients together until smooth, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.
- Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you've made a soft, somewhat smooth dough; it should be cohesive, but the surface may still be a bit rough. It may also stick to the bowl just the tiniest bit.
- Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 3 hours, gently deflating it and turning it over at 1 hour, and again at 2 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into 12 pieces, shape the pieces into balls, and firm them up by rolling them under your lightly cupped fingers.
- Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them, and let them rise for 1 to 2 hours, until they're puffy, though not doubled in size. They'll flatten out a bit as they rise; that's OK.
- Cover the rolls, and refrigerate them for 1 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the rolls' chill, preheat the oven to 425°F. Do not over do the refridgeration or the rolls will be hard as a rock. Cook the rolls immediately.
- Whisk together the egg white and water until frothy. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, and brush them with the wash; you won't use it all up. Again, don't be discouraged if the rolls seem a bit flat; they'll pick up when the hit the oven's heat.
- Slash a 1/4" deep cut across the top of each roll. Immediately put the rolls into the oven.
- Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're a deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack. Or, for best crunch, open the oven door, and allow the rolls to cool in the turned-off, open-door oven.