Thursday, June 19, 2008

Because Yeast is Fun


As previously stated, I really love baking bread, but unfortunately I don't do it all that often anymore. Since it has been a few months since last time, I thought I'd start out with the simplest thing of all - whole wheat rolls. My mother makes the most wonderful whole wheat rolls, but instead of asking for her recipe, I wanted to invent my own.

I used this recipe as a reference, but I changed the original recipe quite a lot. Instead of doing it the old-fashioned way, with only whole wheat and all-purpose flour, I added rolled oats and ground almonds to give the rolls some more flavour, as well as keeping the crumbling factor low. A couple of days after they were baked, they were still nice and juicy, which is well done for a roll that tends to become dry as a desert within 24 hours.

Whole Wheat Rolls With a Twist, adapted from

I kneaded the dough by hand. If you have a Kitchen Aid or similar machine with a kneading hook, use that one instead. Unless, of course, you want a bit of exercise.

25 g fresh yeast
400 ml milk
25 g butter
3 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp salt
100 g ground almonds
100 g rolled oats
230 g whole wheat flour
220 g wheat flour, high in protein

Crumble yeast into a large bowl. On low heat, melt the butter, then add the milk. Let cool until lukewarm; about 37 C, or about the same temperature as your finger.

Add a small amount of the milk/butter mixture to the yeast, stirring with a wooden spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved, then stir in the rest. The reason for this is that it's much easier to dissolve the yeast in a small amount of liquid rather than a large.

Stir in honey and salt, then add almond and rolled oats, slightly crushed in the palms of your hand.

Add the flours in small batches, stirring vigorously as you do so. If the wooden spoon will no longer do the trick, knead it with your hands on a clean, floured surface until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands, the table or anything at all, and easily forms into a ball.

Put the dough back into the bowl, sprinkle some flour on it (so the surface won't dry out), cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 24 parts, and roll into small balls. Place on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet or silpat, cover and let rest for another 30 minutes.

In the meantime, pre-heat your oven to full whack, but remember to lower it to 225 C once the buns are in the oven.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve while still warm, with ridiculous amounts of butter on top.

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