After the success I had with making Panettone the other day, I decided to try my hand at making dinner rolls using a similar formula.
I love light, airy, yeasty dinner rolls, but I’ve always been hesitant to try baking them at home. Bread baking and I have a love-hate relationship, mostly because I have the patience of a gnat when it comes to food. Instant gratification! I want it now!
So, when a recipe calls for a 6-12 hour rise, and then another 2 or 3 hour rise I’m usually going to bypass it.
But that was then, and this is now. Now that I know how lovely bread can truly be when you actually FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS, I’m learning that patience truly is a virtue. I guess those old adages actually hang around for a reason.
I would say these rolls are most similar to a brioche or egg-bread. They’re very light, and have a nice tender crumb. They’re filled with tons of tiny air bubbles, and they’re good warm straight from the oven with nothing on them, but they’re especially tasty slathered with a pat of butter.
I didn’t let these rise as long as the panettone, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. I did let the dough complete its second rise in my handy-dandy food dehydrator set on about 115F, and I believe this helped shorten the rise time significantly.
Whole-wheat dinner rolls
prep time: 20 minutes
rise time: 6 hours total
bake time: 10 minutes
1/2 Tablespoon Instant Dry Yeast
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup warm whey (110-115F)
4 Tablespoons butter
3 whole eggs
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm whey (110-115F)
3 1/2-4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
- For the starter: combine yeast, 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup whey in a container and place in a warm place in your kitchen. Allow to rest for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours have passed, combine butter, eggs, sugar, salt, 1/2 cup warm whey and starter in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed.
- Begin adding flour, one cup at a time. After you’ve added first three cups, and they’re relatively well incorporated,
- Add the wheat bran
- Increase mixer speed to medium-high and let run. If dough comes together in a ball, you’ve added enough flour. If it is still tacky and sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour a little bit at the time until dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl.
- Let mixer run on medium-high for 10 minutes or so. Check dough periodically – pinch off a small amount and stretch it out to see if the gluten has developed: you should be able to stretch it into a very thin rectangle without it breaking (this is called the windowpane test).
- Butter the sides and bottom of a large bowl and place dough in there, turning once to coat both sides with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot (either in your oven with the light on, or in a food dehydrator set at 115F) for 2 hours. Dough should double in volume.
- Grease two 12-cup muffin tins
- Pinch of small hands-full of dough and roll in the palms of you hands to form smooth balls. I was able to make twenty-four 1 1/2-2-inch balls out of this amount of dough. Place the balls in the prepared muffin tins and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm spot in your kitchen for another couple of hours.
- Preheat your oven to 375F
- Brush tops of rolls with an egg or milk wash and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.