Whole Wheat Rolls

I'm rather of the opinion that all-purpose flour might better be called "no-purpose" flour. It's a sort of jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. You can use it for anything... but it's just not quite ideal. For yeast breads, where you really need well-developed glutein, bread flour yeilds far better results. And for quick breads, where you need to be careful to avoid too much kneading lest the glutein make it tough, whole wheat flour works quite nicely and is ever so much more nutritious. Lately, whenever I make biscuits, I've been just replacing ALL of the white flour with whole wheat, and making no other adjustments to my normal recipe. And they turn out great. They actually come out lighter that way.

Of course, I do have to admit to using all-purpose flour for cakes and pastries and sauces... but only because I'm not a serious enough baker to go out and buy cake flour and pastry flour and figure out how to make a lumpless white sauce with cornstarch.

But this post isn't about all-purpose flour. This is about whole wheat flour, and how I finally figured out how to make beautifully fluffy rolls, with all that whole-grain nutty goodness.

The key is gluten, and thoroughly mixing it into your dry flour. Sadly, your regular grocery store probably hasn't even heard of gluten, and I haven't seen it at Trader Joe's, either. I get it at Henry's Market, and I know I've seen it at other health-food stores.

Mix thoroughly in large bowl:

2 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. bread flour (all-purpose if you MUST)
1/4 c. wheat gluten

Set flour mixture aside.

Place in bottom of bread machine:

1 1/4 c. water
2 large eggs

Sprinkle flour mixture over eggs and water.


1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dry active yeast
3 Tbsp. butter

Set machine to dough cycle.

When dough is complete, form into rolls and arrange on a buttered baking sheet. Or casserole dish. Or whatever. Let rise until doubled, about 45 min. Bake at 350 until golden brown, around 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy with a nice big blueberry-peach-walnut smoothie. Such a nice, refreshing, low-key lunch!


AND... if you happen to forget the yeast...

it makes an AMAZING flatbread.

Not that I ever forget ingredients or anything...


Marcy said...

I found vital wheat gluten at an Albertson's, but sadly, not my local Albertson's. Apparently it's just something their newest stores have.

Elena said...

Well, that's great that some of them have it, anyway. Maybe other stores will follow suit!

What I don't understand is why they don't just sell whole wheat flour with gluten added. Although I suppose you'd run into problems with it not being mixed up properly.