Mexican food cuisine has so many varieties of food to ofter and these are another example. One of the new popular foods from Mexico or in vogue entrees are the sandwiches. I guess you can say the sub or poor boys from Mexico. Although I do not remember seeing or having any of these from my childhood different areas have different cusine. Thsi is a faily staight foward recipe. A sponge is just made ahead to get the yeast in action, It is a ways to make sure you will get a good rise because sometimes you can get a bad batch of yeast that does not rise.
Teleras or Billios use the same recipe but differ at the last steps.
French-Style Mexican Hard Rolls
1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups warm water (105 to 115 degree farenheit)
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp salt6 tbsp butter or vegetable shortening at room temperature
3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glazing
1. To prepare the sponge: In a 3 or 4 quart bowl or plastic container, sprinle the yeast and sugar over the water and stir until dissolved. Let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the 4 cups of unbleached flour. With a whisk, beat hard until smooth and thick. Scrape the sides with a spatula. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until bubble. About 1 hour.
2. To prepare the dough: Add the salt, butter, and 1/2 cup of flour to the sponge. Beat hard with a whisk for 5 minutes or 2 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed until a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl is formed. Switch to a wooden spoon when necessary if making by hand.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead vigorously to create a soft, moist, and elastic dough that will still feel sticky, 5 to 8 minutes, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Use a dough scraper to clean off the film of dough that accumulates on the work surface as you go along. Take care not to add too much flour; this doubh should just hold its shape, yet retain a slightly moist quality. If kneading by machine, switch from the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy and springs back when pressed. If desired, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly by hand.
4. Place the dough in a deep greased container. Turn once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk. 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Grease or parchment line 1 or 2 baking sheets. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Divide each portion into 10 equal portions. Pat each one into a 3 by 2 inch rectangle and roll up to form into a tight oval. Pinch the seams to seal and arrange about 2 inches apart on the pans. Pinch the ends, pulling slightly to form a spindle shape. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
6. About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees farenheit with a baking stone or tiles on the lowest rack, as desired. Using a sharp knife, gently slash the rolls with a lengthwise cut down the middle, no deeper than 1/4 inch. Brush the top of each roll with the glaze. Place the baking sheet directly on the hot stone and bake for 10 minutes. Brush the rolls again with the wash. Reduce the oven thermostat to 375 degrees farenheit and bake for 15 to 18 minutes mor, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when tapped with your finger. Transfer the rolls immediately to a cooling rack. They are best slightly warm or at room temperature (bolillos may be frozen for up to one month.)
Mexican Flat Rolls (Teleras): After deflating the dough in step 5, divide the dough into 20 portions. Flatten the ball of dough into an oval with the heel of your hand or a rolling pin. Press twice into the top of the roll with the side of your hand to make 2 indentations. Let rise and press again to reform the indentations. Bake and cool as directed.