One of my fondest memories of my Mother is her teaching me the techniques of making homemade rolls. She gave me her old Fleischmann’s Yeast Bread book which she used as her guide for making rolls. I can’t find a date on it but based on the pictures it must be from the 1950’s or 60’s. It’s a wonderful time capsule of bread making that we don’t often see these days. Although I’ve made wheat bread in the past I had not tried whole wheat rolls. I always thought they would have a dense texture but these are so light and taste so good, especially with some melted butter and honey glazed over top and dripping down the sides. No need for a special occasion to make these rolls, they are good any day with a meal or just by themselves.
Mix together in a small bowl the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of honey. Let sit for a few minutes as it begins to foam and rise. My mom told me that you need salt or a natural sugar to activate the yeast. I’ve always had success using her method.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and remaining honey. FYI, in the past I always made rolls by hand with no mixer. Having the mixer do the work is a lot easier.
My Mom showed me how to pull the dough up from the edges bringing a layer of flour with it and fold into the center with your knuckles. It’s quite easy, just rotate as you pull around the edges and fold down until the dough becomes easy to work with and no longer sticky.
They come out of the oven golden brown. If you tap on them and hear that hollow sound it indicates they are done. 24 rolls is a lot for Joe and I so I took out 12 and sealed the rest in a freezer bag to keep them until later.
Whole Wheat Rolls with a Honey Butter Glaze
1/2 cup Warm Water
1 tablespoon Dry Yeast
4 tablespoons Honey, divided
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Whole Milk, warmed
2 teaspoons Salt
4 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour plus more for kneading
Honey Butter Glaze
1 1/2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
2 tablespoons Honey
In a small bowl combine warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of honey. Let that set aside for a few minutes as the yeast activates and begins to foam and bubble.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add softened butter and the remaining 3 tablespoons of honey. Cream the mixture together, add eggs and beat on low until well combined. Scrape the bowl, then add the warm milk and yeast mixture; mix well.
Combine flour and salt together. Swap out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Begin adding flour mix to the bowl about 1/3 of the flour at a time, mixing well in between each addition. When all the flour has been incorporated the dough will appear sticky. Transfer the dough to another bowl that has about 1/2 cup of flour. Gently knead the flour into the dough pulling in the edges and fold them over the center. Continue kneading the dough until it is easy to work with, then form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over top and pat into the dough. Place a kitchen towel over top of the bowl and set to rise in a warm place. Let dough sit for 30 minutes to an hour until it has doubled in bulk.
Punch down the dough and form into a ball. Pinch off a bit of dough, a little bigger than the size of a golf ball. Form the dough into a ball and place in a buttered 9 X 13 inch baking dish. You should have 24 rolls fit in the dish. Cover with a kitchen towel and let dough rise a second time, approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 20 – 25 minutes. They should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Make a honey butter with 1 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter with 2 tablespoons of honey. Whisk the honey with the butter until smooth and creamy. Spread the honey butter over the warm rolls which will melt and glaze over.
Any unused rolls can be sealed in a freezer bag and frozen for later. When ready to use, thaw rolls and reheat in 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes.