Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls from Cuisine at Home Magazine, December 2011

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The timing of yeast goods frustrates me. How can you bring wonderfully light and fluffy rolls to the dinner table when you know you have to start them six hours beforehand?

And it’s not simply a matter of starting early enough. There are the two rise times and the need to punch and fluff in between both.

If the dough is started at such-and-such a time, can I get to there, do that and be home quickly enough to be able to cut it into portions, roll it into balls and let it rise for a few more hours?

And when those few more hours are up, will I be home from whatever I’ve got going in time to put them in the oven?

The answer to that last question, in this case, was; no.

The Process
The total time it took to create this little round gem was five hours. It’s not a labor intensive recipe (aside from the ten minutes of hand-kneading if you’re like me and don’t own a stand mixer), but you do need to be around every couple of hours to do the next steps after the dough has risen. Just keep that in mind. This isn’t a good recipe if you’re running lots of errands.

It starts with heating milk and honey. Add minced rosemary and the yeast and let it sit so the yeast can start chowing down on the honey and get all foamy. After five minutes, add oil, then turn to the big bowl.

In yon big bowl, throw in the flours, potato flakes (so yes, now I have potato flakes in the house), dry milk and salt. Mix that all up, then pour in the foamy milk stuff.

At this point the recipe says to use a dough hook on a stand mixer. I don’t own one so I used elbow grease on a floured board. Whichever way you do it, do it for ten minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a bowl, cover it and walk away for two hours.

After cleaning the bathroom and doing a couple loads of laundry (or watching that episode of Castle that you DVRed), come back to the dough. Cut it into 16 equal portions and roll them into balls. Put them on a baking sheet, cover them and walk away for two hours.

Back again? I wasn’t. I was at Tae Kwon Do with Dudette. So, I called Hubby. He took these to the finish line by heating the oven and sliding them in. Twenty minutes later, he took them out, brushed them with butter and sprinkled them with salt. Pretty good job, huh?

The Verdict
I found these to be heavenly, but I’m a big fan of honey wheat bread anyhow. Hubby liked them but found them to be a bit too dense to be able to put them in the ‘love’ category. Dudette discovered that she could add wheat bread to the list of foods that she doesn’t appreciate. That’s why we trick her with white wheat bread. Shhhh.

The salt on top is a nice addition. Many of you will probably lean away from adding it, but please notice that there is only a teaspoon of salt in the dough itself. For all I know, Dudette’s bit of bread was just about saltless, which is why she decided she didn’t like it. It needs the salt, if even a small dusting.

So, final word is mixed with us. I enjoy these very much. In fact, as soon as I’m done, I may just throw together a little turkey sandwich with one for breakfast. Hubby likes them but wouldn’t go out of his way for them. Dudette is five.

What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’m not a good enough baker to know what needs to be done differently next time. These were fine.

Whole-Wheat Dinner Rollsprint this recipe
from Cuisine at Home Magazine, December 2011

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (optional)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4-2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Melted unsalted butter
Coarse salt

Heat whole milk and honey in a saucepan over medium to between 105-115; remove from heat. Whisk in rosemary and yeast. Cover and let the mixture proof until foamy; about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil.

Combine 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, the whole-wheat flour, potato flakes, dry milk and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a dough hook, on medium speed, knead dough, 6-8 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed. If the dough seems too sticky, add 1/4 cup more all-purpose flour.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic warp and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size; 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat the paper with nonstick spray. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and then each half into eight portions about 2 ounces each. Roll each portion into a ball.

Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the balls with plastic wrap that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Let the dough rise until doubled in size; 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 with the rack in the middle. Bake the rolls until they are light brown; 20 minutes. Brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let cool on a baking sheet at least 10 minutes.

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