Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Have ready one large, nonstick, heavy-gauge metal
cookie sheet. Put the water and the butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan,
preferably with a rounded bottom, over medium heat. Occasionally stir the
mixture while you wait for the butter to melt.
Meanwhile, thoroughly combine the two flours, and a pinch of salt in a
As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture begins to simmer, add the dry
mix all at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Within just a few
seconds, the dough will become smooth and leave the bottom and sides of the pan.
Keep stirring until no flour shows. Cook for about 10 seconds longer and remove
Put the hot saucepan on a cold burner or other safe surface. Stir in the eggs,
one at a time, mixing well after each addition. At first the dough will appear
lumpy. When the whole eggs have been added, the dough will be smooth. It should
be creamy and hold peaks with almost no settling. Work in the egg white. Now the
dough will be just right; it will still hold its shape, but in softer peaks. It
should form mounds that do not spread on the cookie sheet, but sink back and
broaden out slightly. Occasionally, you may need to make a judgment call.
Depending on the size of the eggs, the dough may be sufficiently soft even
before you add the final egg white. In that case, omit the egg white or add it
by the Tablespoon. The right consistency makes the best rolls. Dough that is too
stiff results in smaller rolls; dough that is too soft (i.e., spreads out wide
on the cookie sheet) may result in flat rolls.
If you like, use your electric mixer to work in the eggs. Simply transfer the
hot dough from the saucepan to the mixer bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a
time. Do not over beat because if you do, the rolls may develop large air
pockets. Use a flat beater if you have one. Put spoonfuls of dough on the cookie
sheet, choosing the size you prefer. Use large Teaspoons or even soupspoons to
drop the dough. Place them fairly close together.
Bake the rolls for about 25 to 28 minutes or until they are golden brown and
crusty on top. Promptly freeze rolls that you do not plan to use the day they
are baked. Take them out of the bag to thaw at room temperature. You can also
put the frozen rolls in the oven, set at 350F (no need to pre-heat), and
bake for 5 minutes. You can toast rolls (slice in half), but you need a
wide-slot toaster or toaster oven. The rolls toast rapidly, so use the lowest
Save unused rolls in a dry place until rock hard. They will be used for
Magnificent Bread Crumbs.
* If possible, weigh the eggs for this recipe. They should weigh between 62.0
grams and 64.0 grams (2.2 to 2.3 ounces). You can find these eggs among large
and extra large eggs. If you have no scale, pick the smallest of the eggs in the
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