As I have mentioned repeatedly, I am very lazy about going to the grocery store. If we decide to have burgers on a Saturday afternoon and I don’t have rolls, I’d rather make them than get into the car and trudge to the store. There are just certain times I refuse to go the grocery store — and the weekends are at the top of that list.
This is a great recipe for a mostly whole grain roll that is made using the breadmaker. It has evolved from my interest in replacing our bread with whole grain counterparts — and my husband and kids’ interest in bread/rolls that have the consistency of Wonder Bread. So this is a decidedly very “American” roll — super soft, light and fluffy, a little sweet, and with a slight crust after it is baked. It is definitely NOT a hard or crusty roll. But for typical American summer fare like burgers or hot dogs, these rolls are great and very traditional. You can toast or grill them slightly if you like, but I think you’ll love their softness when fresh.
They are greatly improved over typical rolls by the addition of whole wheat flour, sprouted spelt flour, and honey. But the key to the recipe is the vital wheat gluten — it gives the rolls their super soft consistency, regardless of the large quantity of whole grain flours. You should be able to get it in the baking section of your grocery store — or at a natural food store. These are definitely worth a try if you are looking for a soft, whole grain roll. We love them for cheesesteaks or burgers, but I think they would also be great for a soft dinner roll too.
Honey Whole Grain and Spelt Rolls
Makes about 8 large hamburger rolls
1 cup of white whole wheat flour
1 cup of sprouted spelt flour (can just use another cup of whole wheat if you prefer)
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 t salt
3 T vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of honey
1 cup of very hot water
1 package of dry yeast (make sure it is not expired!)
1. In the breadmaker mixing pan, combine the flours (3 cups total), the salt, and vital wheat gluten.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, and honey. Whisk in the hot water and stir in the yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until it begins to get a little frothy.
3. Pour egg/yeast mixture into flour mixture in breadmaker pan. Put in breadmaker and set to “Dough” cycle — which takes 1 hour and 30 minutes on my machine. (I have had trouble with this dough not getting completely mixed in my breadmaker because of the high liquid content. When it is mixing, check it a few times and stir it up with a spoon to make sure it is mixing in with the flour completely.) Alternatively, I’m sure you can do this by hand — with at least two kneading and rising cycles.
4. When dough cycle is complete (the dough should be a soft ball and nicely risen), remove and divide into 8 balls. Line a 9×13 baking pan (preferably metal) with parchment and line four dough balls on each side (2 columns of 4 balls– 8 total). Let rise until doubled in a very warm place. I used the quick proofing cycle on my oven and it only took about 20 more minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake rolls for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove to a rack to cool slightly before serving.