Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 27, 2011

Tasty Wheat Rolls

In the post-holiday cycle of leftover consumption comes the time when one must sweeten the pot–luring the fatigued into seeing those now less than shiny foods in a new light. I’ve been baking bread since I was a small child, so yeasted goods are often my go-to solution when the going gets iffy. Hardly anything restores the flagging appetite like hot rolls steaming as they come from the oven.

I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make my Aunt’s refrigerator rolls, which I love (and will post when I do have the goods in possession). I didn’t want anything TOO wholesome, so I passed over the Laurel’s Kitchen options. I stared hard into the pantry and freezer to figure out what I did have and wanted to work with. These are the result.

Wheat Germ Rolls

1 2/3 cups milk, or milk alternative

3 TBSP honey, light molasses, barley malt syrup or rice syrup

3 TBSP shortening or butter or lard

2 TSP salt

1/2 cup wheat germ, raw

1/4 cup warm water

1 pkg dry yeast

3 cups, scant (15 oz) whole wheat bread flour

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

2-4 TBSP  fat for finishing the rolls

Heat the milk, honey, shortening and salt together just until the mixture begins to boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the wheat germ. Let this mixture cool until it’s more than lukewarm (put one thumb in the mixture and one in your mouth–the mixture should be warmer, but not uncomfortably so). Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water (same temp as above). Let it dissolve and bloom for five minutes. And the yeast to the milk mixture.

Pour this into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add two cups of the whole wheat  bread flour and begin stirring–with a wooden spoon or the regular mixing attachment. Beat for six or seven minutes (on medium low if you’re using the stand mixer). Add the rest of the flour and stir until you have a ‘shaggy mass’, then you can begin kneading in the bowl with an over-and quarter-turn technique. Or switch to the kneading attachment on your stand mixer, still on that medium low speed. Give the dough about 8 minutes of kneading by either method.

Grease the dough, cover the bowl, set it in a draft-free place, and let it rise until doubled in volume. This will take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the ambient heat where you bread is rising. Punch the dough down and let it rise until doubled again–from 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down. Grease a large pan. Preheat the oven to 375°.

Pinch off a piece of dough half the size you want your finished rolls to be. For leftovers consumption, I make oblongs which bake up into mini-sandwich rolls. For a straight dinner roll, I use less dough and I make them round. To give the roll good structure, work the dough by pulling it under and tucking it into itself on the underside. Dip the formed roll in your melted fat, and smear the fat over every surface of the roll. Place the roll on your greased pan, with half an inch of space all around it. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough.

Cover the pan with a tea towel and allow the rolls to rise until almost doubled in size and touching each other. Take the tea towel off and bake the rolls for 20 minutes (if smaller) up to 30 minutes for the larger sizes. They’ll be done when the tops are a nice golden brown and each roll (check the ones in the middle as they’re the last to finish cooking) sounds hollow when you tap it.

If you can stand it, wait ’til they’re completely cooled to start eating them all up.



  1. Yummy. I’m going to try that.

    • These are recommended. We ate all but two in one meal, and they were only a side dish for five!

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