Homemade Brown-and-Serve Wheat Rolls

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I love my homemade bread recipe. I know the recipe by heart. And I know how long it takes me in the kitchen to make it. But. . .this time, it just didn't seem right to serve loaves of bread to our guests. After all, it's Thanksgiving. And rolls are the traditional thing to do. So, I got to work and made homemade brown-and-serve rolls from my same bread recipe to be frozen for just a week until Thanksgiving Day.

Here's my wheat bread recipe. I doubled the recipe in the bread machine. It rose a lot, but it was very efficient. Then I had my 3-year-old help me knead the bread. (This is great for children because the more they knead it, the better it will rise. They are quite helpful if they play for a long time.) We cut it into 35 pieces and rolled it lightly between our hands. . .well, OK, I did this part. 3-year-olds don't seem to know what "lightly" means. Then they sat on a jelly roll pan, for the rise and bake. Bake the full time for day-of serving or follow the simple steps for brown-and-serve.

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Before the Second Rise

Wheat Roll Recipe

  • a little over a cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 4 T oil
  • 3 cups high gluten bread flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (white whole wheat is nice)
  • 2 t salt
  • 3 t yeast
  • Put ingredients in bread machine in order. Put salt in one corner and yeast in opposite corner. Turn machine to mix only setting. After the first rise has completed, the machine will beep. Remove the dough and knead for a second time, about 5 minutes. Roll out dough into a thick square. Use a pastry scraper to cut the dough into 35 pieces (5x7). Line a tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Roll each piece of dough lightly between your hands and place on the tray. Let rise 1 (one) hour.

    Complete baking day of: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 30-35 minutes until nicely brown on top. Remove to racks to cool. To do this, place a clean pan or an extra cooling rack on top of the rolls and flip them over. Then place the intended cooling rack on the back of the rolls and flip them back over. Cool slightly and serve.

    For Brown-and-Serve Rolls: Preheat the oven to 275°F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until set. Remove pan from oven, but leave the rolls on the pan for 20 minutes as they will continue to bake a bit. Remove to racks to cool. To do this, place a clean pan or an extra cooling rack on top of the rolls and flip them over. Then place the intended cooling rack on the back of the rolls and flip them back over. Cool completely. Wrap in foil or freezer-safe plastic bags to refrigerate or freeze. To brown, preheat oven to 400°F. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.