Honey Whole Wheat Rolls
Source: From Michael Kalanty, adapted from his book, How To Bake Bread: The Five Families of Bread (Red Seal Books 2009). It was prepared for the Market to Table progam on March 13, 2010.
Makes two 9 x 4-inch loaves or a dozen 4-ounce buns
Yeast (active dry or rapid rise) 1/2 ounce 2 envelopes
Water (100º) 8 ounces 1 cup
Whole wheat flour 11 ounces 2 1/4 cups
Milk (100º) 6 ounces 3/4 cup
Honey 3 ounces 1/3 cup
Butter (soft) 2 ounces 4 tablespoons
Flour (bread or all-purpose) 14 ounces 2 3/4 cups
Salt (fine sea or table salt) 1/2 ounces 1 tablespoon
Butter, melted 1 ounce 2 tablespoons
Vegetable oil or additional whole wheat flour, for garnish
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add whole wheat flour and blend together. Add milk, honey, and two ounces of soft butter. Blend together to combine.
Add bread or all-purpose flour and salt. Blend until dough is homogeneous and all flour is moist.
Turn dough out from bowl onto lightly floured work surface. For three minutes, develop dough by kneading with moderate pressure. Use the push, turn, and fold technique. Don’t worry if dough is tacky.
Scrape work bench clean, gathering all dough bits together. In a new spot on the work bench, develop dough for three minutes more, using gentle pressure.
Form dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Rub a thin layer of butter or oil on the dough. Cover loosely and set in an 85º spot or place bowl of covered dough on a cooling rack, over a pan of hot water. Let dough rise until doubled, about one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes.
Divide the dough into two pieces. Gently form into balls and let rest on lightly oiled work bench. Brush with butter, cover, and rest for 30 minutes.
Form rested dough pieces into football shapes. Brush loaf pans with butter or oil, place footballs in pans, and brush top of dough with butter or oil. Set in an 85º spot to rise the second time, gently cover with plastic so dough does not dry, let it sit for about 50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375º; adjust racks so the loaves will bake in the middle or lower third of the oven. (For buns, preheat to 400º; rack in center.)
Spray the risen loaves with water and sift whole wheat flour over top. Use a serrated bread or steak knife to slash the top lengthwise, about 1/4-inch deep. Drizzle in remaining cooled, melted butter. (Buns can be brushed with cool water and decorated with sesame seeds.)
Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes. If using an insta-read thermometer, the internal temp of the bread is 190º when done. (Buns bake in 17 to 20 minutes and are done when you like their crust color.)
Cool loaves in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool loaves on their sides on a wooden board or wire rack. Turn occasionally for even cooling.