Medianoche rolls

The Cuban medianoche ("midnight") sandwich, is in my opinion, the most amazingly delicious sandwich ever created. One essential part is the slightly sweet, soft, white medianoche roll. It's worth baking a batch.

When doing some other research on this sandwich I saw a mention that the medianoche roll is like challah. I never really thought about it that way, but it is. That would be a good substitute if you didn't want to bake your own bread.

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This is an unusually small batch of 4 rolls, but it can easily be scaled to make more.

1 egg
1.5 oz. sugar
3 oz. warm water (105°F to 115°F)
0.100 oz. instant yeast
6 oz. bread flour [actually, quite a bit more was necessary]
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 c. coconut oil (or lard, or shortening, softened)

Beat the eggs in the mixer bowl. Add the sugar.

Add 3 oz. of warm water.

Add the yeast, bread flour, salt. I think the amount of flour required is probably closer to 8.0 oz. because the dough was way too soft and I kept adding flour. But the total amount of dough at the end was about right.

I used coconut oil, but you could also use softened lard or shortening.

Combine the ingredients then kneed with the dough hook in the mixer for 6 minutes. Add flour as necessary to make dough that's not too sticky and does not stick to the bottom of the mixer bowl. This required quite a bit of flour, so I clearly did not start out with enough flour.

Lightly grease a bowl with spray oil. Form the dough into a ball. Spritz with oil. Cover and let sit for 2 to 3 hours until it doubles in size.

Divide the dough into four 4 oz. servings and form into a ball then a slightly oblong shape. Place on a silpat on a sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Optionally make an egg glaze with one egg and a little water and brush the tops of the rolls. I did not for this batch.

Bake for about 20 minutes, maybe a little less.

Remove the rolls from the sheet pan and let cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is roughly based on the Three Guys from Miami Cuban Food With Attitude web site.

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