Tuesday, February 18, 2014

100% whole wheat rolls

The hubris that success lends gives rise to foolish choices. Having had such great success with the last whole wheat roll recipe, I decided I was ready to go whole hog - and eliminate white flour all together. Oh how silly we can be... it was a miserable failure.

Let me tell you why.

I didn't make sure the yeast was frothy. Yes, it is that simple. Being a novice at bread making and all of its twists and turns, I was not sure what frothy looked like in a yeast. But now I realize, if you are not sure, then it is not frothy enough. It should be gangbusters frothy. Especially when only using whole wheat, not yeast's first choice for a meal, apparently.

So, how did I make sure this time?

I added some sugar. You see, yeast just loves sugar. It foams right up for just a teaspoon. Even with all this care taken to the yeast, this recipe ended up a bit dry and crumbly, although not sweet at all, which I was glad of, since there is some sugar in there. It was not at all like my last whole wheat roll recipe.

Moral of the story? Either you can't have a perfect roll AND have it be entirely whole wheat... or I just have not discovered the secret. I'll let you know if I do.

100% Whole Wheat Rolls
Adapted from An Oregon Cottage
Makes 12 rolls

  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or other milk)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil
  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water in a glass bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and honey. Add egg and mix. Add milk and yeast mixture.
  3. Add 2 cups flour and salt, mixing until combined. Knead for 2-3 minutes, until no longer tacky, adding flour to aid in this.
  4. Make a ball with the dough and cover in oil. Place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and a towel and let rest in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until increased to twice its size.
  5. Turn out on a floured surface and knead a couple of time. Let rest 3 minutes. 
  6. Divide into 12 balls. Flatten each ball and roll so ends are tucked under. Place balls in a greased 9 inch pie tin or other oven safe pan. Cover with plastic and a towel and let sit for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  7. Heat oven to 350F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

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