Jul 16, 2020

Birotes Salados - Mexican Sourdough Rolls

Birotes Salados are sourdough sandwich rolls unique to Guadalaja, Mexico. The rolls are crusty on the outside and soft and airy on the inside. They have a wonderful sourdough flavor.


Birotes Salados stacked




The bread is used for Tortas Ahogadas, which are sandwiches made with carnitas, pickled onions, refried beans, and two sauces, one for spicing things up, and one for drowning/dunking the entire sandwich, which is why the rolls are so crusty.

The bread is thought to have been introduced to Mexico by the invading French army in the mid nineteenth century, when Maximilian attempted to promote French food and culture.

Birotes Salados sliced




While we usually think of tortillas when we think of Mexican bread, Mexico does have a delicious bread tradition, such as conchas, cemita rolls, and bolillo rolls, which are shaped like birotes, but have a thin crispy crust.

The truly authentic Mexican birote made in Jalisco
contains egg and lemon or lime, but it's not included in this recipe. I wasn't that brave to try keeping a sourdough alive with eggs. You could add a bit of citric or ascorbic acid to your dough if you want to for extra sour flavor.

However, this recipe does produce nicely sour rolls with a crust and crumb that will stand up to being drenched with a ladle-full of tomato sauce.


Mexican Sourdough Rolls




Birote bakers in Jalisco are trying to establish a Denomination of Origin for birotes so that the name will be protected, and can legally only be used for bread produced in Jalisco. If that happens, hopefully the Mexican bread police won't come after me.
This bread also is excellent for beef dip sandwiches, or any sandwich that is drenched in sauce. 



Birotes Salados - Mexican Sourdough Rolls stacked




I adapted the recipe in the book, Bread on the Table by David Norman. It's a wonderful book. Most of the recipes in the book are European. There's section for French breads, Scandinavian breads, German breads, and Italian breads.

He now has a bakery in Austin, so he gives a nod in his last chapter to one south of the border bread recipe, Birotes Salados. Plus, he provides a recipe for torta ahogada.

Instead of the steam pan mentioned in the recipe, I baked mine on the baking stone with an inverted foil pan.

Mexican sourdough rolls baking




These rolls take a couple of days to make, mostly to feed a small amount of your starter with a mixture of flour and beer. If you keep your starter in the refrigerator, you will need to feed it twice, first to get it active, and next, to feed it with the flour and beer.

If you've just fed your starter to make another bread, or you feed your starter daily, you can skip the first feeding. You can begin with any sourdough starter you have because very little of it will end up in the final levain.

Once your starter is ready, the rolls themselves only take about 5 five hours for kneading, the first rise, shaping, and the second rise, and only about 20 to 30 minutes to bake.

To shape the rolls, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball.

Mexican sourdough rolls preshaped



Press each ball into a rough rectangle and then fold fold each "side" over each other to create a cylinder. Using your hands, roll each cylinder back and forth until you have an eight inch long roll with tapered ends.

You'll need a floured couche or tea towel for letting them rise.

Mexican sourdough rolls shaped



Suggested timeline for making these rolls:


Day 1:

10:00 a.m. Feed your starter to wake it up. If your starter is already very active, you can skip this step. 

8:00 p.m. Prepare the final feed of your starter and let it rest at room temperature overnight.

Day 2:

8:00 a.m. Mix and knead your final dough, including a few stretches and folds.

9:15 a.m. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled.

11:15 a.m. Shape the rolls and let them proof until puffy.

12: 30 am. Score and bake the rolls.


Birotes Salados - Mexican Sourdough Rolls in a basket




This month, the Bread Baking Babes are baking birotes salados. After the recipe, you can check out how the rest of the Babes fared making these rolls.

Here's more information about birotes from Quest for Sourdough, including a great video.




Birotes Salados - Mexican Sourdough Rolls

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Birotes Salados - Mexican Sourdough Rolls
Yield: 8 rolls
Author: Karen Kerr
Birotes Salados are sourdough sandwich rolls unique to Guadalaja, Mexico. The rolls are crusty on the outside and soft and airy on the inside. They have a wonderful sourdough flavor.

Ingredients:

Wake Up Feed for your Starter
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) sourdough starter. Because you will be feeding it twice, it doesn't matter what hydration it is to begin with.
  • 200 grams (1 1/2 cups) all-purposed flour
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) lukewarm water (90 degrees F)
Final Feed
  • 20 grams (1 tablespoon) of the "wake up feed"
  • 270 grams (2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) of all-purpose flour
  • 175 grams (3/4 cup) Mexican lager beer (I used Modelo)
Final Dough
  • 430 grams (3 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 20 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
  • 18 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • All of the starter
  • 212 grams (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) water
  • Extra flour for dusting

Instructions:

  1. Wake Up Feed: Mix the "wake up feed" in a clean bowl with your fingers, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and let ferment for 8 to 10 hours. You can skip this step if your starter is very active.
  2. Final Feed: Mix the final feed ingredients with your hand until well incorporated. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.
  3. Final Dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or dough rising bucket. Divide the starter into small pieces and add it to the dry ingredients. Add the water and blend everything together with your hands. "Stir, squeeze, and pinch" the dough ingredients together until the dough comes together. You can use your dough scraper to help incorporate everything. This process should take about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and stretch, fold, and flip the dough about 5 times.
  5. Form the dough into a rough ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough, seam side up, onto the surface. Gently flatten the dough into a 2 inch thick circle. Stretch and fold the dough from all four "sides."
  7. Flip the dough over and form it into a ball, return it to the bowl, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Repeat the stretch-and-fold process three more times at 15 minute intervals.
  9. After the final stretch and fold, place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled.
  10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface with the smooth side down. Gently flatten until the dough is about 2 inches thick. Gently stretch and fold one side of the dough about half way over the dough. Turn the dough, and repeat from all four "sides."
  11. Flip the dough over, seam side down, and form the dough into a ball.
  12. Return the ball to the bowl, seam side up, and cover until doubled, about an hour.
  13. Lightly flour your work surface.
  14. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, about 150 grams each. Form each piece into a ball. Press each ball into a rough rectangle and then fold fold each "side" over each other to create a cylinder. Using your hands, roll each cylinder back and forth until you have an eight inch long roll with tapered ends.
  15. Heat your oven to 475 degrees F with a baking stone and steam pan.
  16. Place the rolls, seam side up, side-by-side lengthwise, between the folds of a couche or flour dusted tea towel to proof. Cover with plastic wrap or another towel for about 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy and airy, but not doubled.
  17. You will probably need to bake these in two batches unless you have two ovens.
  18. Place the risen rolls onto parchment paper on top of a pizza peel, seam side down with space in between. Add 2 cups of boiling water to your steam pan and close the oven door to let it get steamy.
  19. Score the rolls with a sharp knife or lame the length of the roll down the center with the blade at an angle.
  20. Place the loaves on the stone, along with the parchment, and close the oven door. If you like, you can also spray the oven with more water to get it extra steamy.
  21. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes. They should be deep golden brown and hollow sounding.
  22. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the rolls.
birotes salados
Bread
Mexican
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If you bake along, just drop me an email and I’ll put you in a round up after the 1st of August. Please use BBB Buddy as the subject line.


The other babes who baked along are:

Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen
Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms
Kelly from A Messy Kitchen
Judy from Judy's Gross Eats
Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups
Cathy from Bread Experience
Elizabeth from Blog from OUR Kitchen


19 comments:

  1. When we're home again, I'm going to bake these again so I can fill them with carnitas! These were terrific. Thanks for this recipe.

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  2. Replies
    1. You did a wonderful job. Thanks so much for baking along!

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  3. These rolls are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for lovely bread to bake this month.

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  4. I want these.... and the filling. Gorgeous rolls!

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  5. Your rolls, of course, look stellar. Now I can't wait to see your version of Tortas Ahogadas made with those beautiful rolls.

    This was so fun - in spite of having to plan ahead (always so tricky for the likes of me). And, next time, I'll remember about using the overturned roasting pan for steam. Thank you, Karen!

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  6. Your rolls look awesome! Thanks for choosing this recipe! I loved the flavor. Even though I'm not typically a beer drinker, I really like the flavor it imparts to these rolls. These are a keeper for sure.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not really a beer drinker either, but it is pretty good in bread!

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  7. These look great! I'm wondering, though, why you use such large amounts of flour and water to "wake up" the starter, then only 20 grams of the active starter? Why not just wake up a much smaller amount of starter to begin with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could do that for sure. The assumption is that you are turning any starter into the right starter for this formula and having lots left over for more bread. There's always a lot of discussion about this. As long as you have a very active starter, you can skip that step.

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  8. These look delicious. I have a question. The "all of the starter" means the wake up and the final feed too? I am puzzled because the wake up seems like a lot and then only 20 grams is used for the final feed. I sure want to make this. Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Miriam. The assumption is that you are turning any starter into the right starter for this formula and having lots left over for more bread. There's always a lot of discussion about this. As long as you have a very active starter, you can skip that step.

      Delete
  9. I just made this recipe and took courage to bake them in my pizza oven. They are absolutely delicious. I made them a bit smaller and got 12 of them for the recipe. Next time, I will make 1-1/2 recipe. Everyone loved it. And a friend just dropped off some freshly made pesto. Yum Yum Yum~ Thank you for sharing the recipe and history behind it.

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  10. These are so pretty, Karen! I love the shape of them and they look perfect for dipping!

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  11. I've always wanted to make these!

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I would love to hear from you!