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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bake: Soft Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls

Today, I'm thankful for my pets. I've always been an animal person and I just don't see how some people aren't! I currently have two dogs (an old beagle and an even older dachshund), a cat (gray tabby), two goldfish and three hermit crabs. Obviously the fish and crabs aren't any source for snuggling but they're cute and they can be entertaining. I swear I felt like I rescued the crabs when I bought them in the Outer Banks, NC! They're neat little creatures and are fun to have. As far as my furry pets, I'm so thankful for the warmth and love they give unconditionally. They're always keeping us laughing and rarely turn away from a cuddle on the couch (only the cat chooses to turn those down sometimes!). I also occasionally volunteer with a local animal rescue and seeing those poor, neglected animals just breaks my heart. All they want is a warm home with lots of love. Moral of the story...don't shop, adopt and spay/neuter your pets! If you don't have a pet...go get one! They'll be a great addition to your life! 

Blair update: She's finally getting out of the ICU and is moving to the Progressive Care Unit instead. She will be starting physical therapy soon to get her muscles working again. She's ready to be out but she will likely stay another week or two. They still want to keep her visitors very limited to keep germs at bay. I'm really hoping I can go see her, or at least drop off her care package I made, when we're in town for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I caught a mild version of whatever my husband had, so visiting may not be possible at all. I've barely got a stuffy/runny nose anymore so I doubt I'm contagious, or won't be in a few days...but at the same time, why risk it. On the down side, she's been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy which can become very serious. So if you've been praying...keep praying! 

Mmm...just the thought of these on the side of any dinner is just mouth watering! I know, I know...it's so much easier to grab the frozen ones from the store and just toss them in the oven. Trust me, these are better! And who doesn't love the satisfaction of watching people enjoy and devour something they just made by hand, from scratch?! 

I found this recipe on Pinterest, of course. The pin directed me to the blog, An Oregon Cottage. The author listed this delicious recipe for the softest, yummiest dinner rolls you've ever had...AND they're made with healthy, 100% whole wheat! I originally thought they would be a great addition to the mounds of food we'll be making for Thanksgiving but these rolls are perfect for anytime! The first time I made them my husband and I ate them with just regular spaghetti. It was a match made in Heaven! Not to mention they're not any more difficult to make than a loaf of bread. Same basic concept, just a bit of variation in ingredients and technique. 

Oh you want me to hurry up and get on to the recipe? Ok, ok! 

  • 2  tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (raw, unbleached is best!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 1/2-5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Proof your yeast by putting the sugar, yeast, warm water (remember, you want it to be warm, not hot to the touch) in a medium/large mixing bowl. You'll want to let it proof for about 10 minutes. In the original recipe, the writer uses a stand mixer but I don't have one. My rolls turned out great just using a little elbow grease! You could add the sugar with the next step but I feel like the yeast proofs better when it feeds on sugar. 

While the yeast is proofing, go ahead and whisk your butter, honey, and eggs. Also, warm up your milk in the microwave. You can also use buttermilk if you have it and prefer it.

Once the yeast is done proofing, mix in the butter/honey/eggs and the warm milk. You can also add the salt as well. Whisk everything real quick so it's mixed well. 

Now start adding your flour. Add in about a cup at a time and keep mixing. Once a dough forms, drop it onto a floured surface and knead till the stickiness is mostly gone. Try not to use too much flour because you want these to be light and fluffy!

 Once you've kneaded enough, grease the inside of your mixing bowl (I just toss a little EVOO [Extra Virgin Olive Oil] in the bowl and spread it with my hand) and put the dough back. Lay a towel or saran wrap on top and let it sit and rise for about an hour. You'll want it to be about double the original size.

Meanwhile, give your 9x13 pan a good rub down with some butter. I always buy butter made with olive oil and sea salt so I don't feel as guilty about using a little extra here and there ;) 

After it's done rising, drop it back onto a floured surface again. Remember, go easy on the flour here. Just enough to reduce the stickiness. 

Now here's the trickiest part. This is the best method I've found to get evenly sized rolls. Press the dough into a rectangular shape and then cut the dough into about 24 even pieces. Maybe I'm not that great at estimating but it still took me a few minutes before I was able to get it to work right! 

In order to make them all round with no seams showing, take each piece and press it over your thumb like this. 

Then just pinch the seams together. 

Place them in your 9x13 pan so that they're all touching, seems facing down. Rows of 4x6 fit nicely if you end up with 24 rolls. Now cover it back up with a towel and let it rise for another hour or so. 

I actually only let mine rise for about 45 minutes...I got impatient! They were plenty big enough, though. Be sure to set a timer for 45 minutes so you can preheat the oven to 350...that way the oven will be ready when the rolls are! Now, pop 'em into the oven for about 20-25 minutes!

I set a timer for 10 minutes and then rotated the rolls so that they baked evenly. I could have left them in there for a few more minutes and let them get a little more golden brown but again...impatient!

C'mon...you know that looks delicious!

As soon as you pull them out of the oven, brush them with melted butter. You could also brush a little honey on there too! 

You know this is the best part...pull them apart and enjoy! These rolls are so soft and delicious. My husband devoured them with his spaghetti!

Soft, delicious, yummy, healthy made-from-scratch dinner rolls! Wasn't that easy? You can imagine one of the items I'm making for Thanksgiving!

Do you have a family recipe for the best dinner rolls? Do you have any kind of secret ingredient? Care to share?

Till next time,


  1. Replies
    1. They really are! I made 2 more batches (4 dozen) in preparation for Thanksgiving!


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