My husband seriously loves to eat bread. I love it too. I love it a little too much. If it’s in the house, I will literally keep eating it until it’s gone. All of it. Every last delicious crumb will be gone by the end of the day…maybe two days if I exercise any level of self-restraint…who am I kidding? I have no self-restraint when it comes to bread.
I also really and truly hate most store-bought bread with its preservatives, artificial ingredients, and fillers. Gross. Refusing to buy bread means that any time I want to eat bread, I have to make it myself. The first few times I tried making bread, it was like a science experiment gone wrong. Too much yeast, not enough yeast, too hot, too cold, I forgot to punch it down. Anything that could go wrong, seriously did go wrong. I am proud to say that I am now fairly proficient at making my own bread for the family. It’s delicious, fresh, and way healthier for you than store-bought.
I have a few easy go to recipes that my family loves. Their favorite recipe is for whole wheat dinner rolls. They are soft, flaky, and perfect for hamburgers or sloppy joes. My somewhat picky four-year old loves them. They take about 20 minutes preparation, two hours of rise time, and 16 minutes in the oven. Besides waiting for the dough to rise, this recipe is really only about a 30 minute hands on operation. Use this recipe if you are home on a Saturday or Sunday and want some deliciously fresh bread, or you just want to impress your guests at a cookout.
Seriously Easy Wheat Rolls
This is a recipe I usually double. Half is used for rolls and the other half I use to make a braided loaf.
1 cup warm milk (I use almond milk because my son is allergic to casein)
1/4 cup sugar (use honey of you are anti-sugar)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil plus 2 tablespoons for coating.
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 cups white flour
2 cups wheat flour
1/3 cup of corn meal for coating the baking sheet
1 egg white and oats or sesame seeds for making the rolls pretty (not necessary, but fun)
In one bowl, whisk together the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. It’s important that the milk is warm but not hot. Too cold and your yeast will not activate, and too hot could kill it. Let this mixture sit for 15 minutes.
While the yeast is setting, mix together the salt and coconut oil and measure out your four cups of flour.
Your yeast should start to look something like this:
After the yeast begins to froth, add in the coconut oil and salt, then slowly knead in the four cups of flour. Add the flour until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. You may not need to use all of your flour.
Grease a large bowl with coconut oil and coat your dough in coconut oil. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with a towel or flour sack cloth. Leave the dough to rise in a warm undisturbed location for one hour. I usually leave the dough bowl in the microwave so that it stays warmer, since I live in a big drafty house.
While it is rising you can go ahead and prepare the baking sheet. Grease the bottom and coat with corn meal to prevent your bread from sticking and burning to the pan.
After it has sat one hour it should have about doubled in size. If you made a single recipe, punch the dough down and separate it into eight even balls of dough. Set these on your greased and coated baking sheet to rise one more hour, covered with a towel. If you decided to double the recipe, separate the dough in half. Half of the dough you will further separate to make the 8 rolls like above. Separate the remaining half into 3 even pieces. Roll out the three pieces into long thin lines of dough, braid together like you would hair, and tuck the ends underneath.
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the dough has risen a second time, you can now coat each roll and the braided loaf with egg white. I use a little silicon kitchen brush for this job. Just cover each roll everywhere except where it is touching the pan.
Sprinkle the tops with oats or sesame seeds.
Bake at 375 for 16-20 minutes or golden.
We used this recipe just the other day for grass-fed beef burgers served with homemade coleslaw. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds.