Friday, January 4, 2013

Dark and Soft Dinner Rolls

So I told you that I did some cooking and baking while I was visiting my family over the holidays. When it came to preparing the meals, I was definitely the bread girl. I made pretzel rolls for our soup night. I made pizza dough for a pizza roll for our snacky Christmas day dinner. And I made these delicious dark and soft dinner rolls for our Christmas eve dinner.

 Before I left for home, I pulled out my handy dandy (aka amazing and you should definitely purchase this if you like to make yeast breads at home) King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook and read a number of the different dinner roll choices for my parents. Since my sister and my dad aren't the biggest fans of breads full of nuts and grains and crunch, we settled on this recipe.

They are marketed to resemble the little loaves of bread you get at a steak house; you know the ones that come on a wooden cutting board with a large knife and a tub of honey butter. I would say they turned out pretty close to those although mine were not quite as dark. They were quite delicious with a hint of sweet and even made a nice sandwich the next day. They are certainly hearty, large rolls so if you aren't big carbohydrate people (who in the world are you and why are we friends? Just kidding) then you could certainly shape them into 15-20 normal sized dinner rolls. If you are a big bread eater then stick to the 10 rolls.

You could probably make them even little larger, grill up a steak, whip up some honey butter, stick a large knife into one of them and split it over a nice dinner date at home.

Dark and Soft Dinner Rolls (adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking)
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/3 cup orange juice
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/3 cup honey
1 3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cup bread flour

In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast. Once it is bubbly, add the orange juice, butter, honey, salt, sugar and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Add the flours stirring with a wooden spoon until you cannot stir anymore. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead in the rest of the flour. Knead by hand for 4-5 minutes until you have a medium-soft, smooth dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise until puffy, about 1-2 hours. It will not double in bulk.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Gently deflate the dough and place it on a lightly greased work surface. Divide into 10 even pieces. Shape each piece into 5 by 2 inch rolls. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise for an additional 1 1/2-2 hours. They will appear to rise more than the initial rise although they will not double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Uncover the rolls and bake until the slightly browned on the bottom, about 25-30 minutes.

Makes 10 large rolls.

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