Whole Wheat Bread Rolls

Have you ever made whole wheat bread yourself? I have. Many times. And each time they turn out different from the time before.  And most of the time, the bread either

a) does not rise enough
b) is undercooked or
c) tastes bland.

But I can't seem to give up. I use one recipe that I got from a magazine ages ago; I have modified it, halved it, made loaves, baguettes, foccaccia-like-breads, everything I could think off. So here's whole wheat bread rolls. These turned out as they are supposed to turn out I suppose. Well risen, well cooked. However, if you start imagining that supermarket like whole wheat bread (all light brown, soft, fluffy), wait. This particular homemade whole wheat bread recipe has no plain flour. Which makes it heavy, almost dense, and a chewy bread - so don't compare it any bread that you buy. But slather a warm slice with butter (and/or jam) and you'll forget all that heaviness as the wonderful yeast flavour rises out supported by the salt in the butter.

Whole Wheat Rolls
Adapted from Good Housekeeping

You will need:

320 gms whole wheat flour (Atta)
350 - 400 ml luke warm water (depending on how much the dough absorbs)
1 ½ tsp  Fast acting yeast (or use 1 ½ tbsp activated dry yeast)
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
2 tbsp milk
½  tsp salt

To make the Rolls:

1. Take the whole wheat flour in a large bowl and add the salt to it. Mix the salt in the flour with your fingers.

2. In a small glass, take 150ml of luke warm water and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the yeast to it and gently stir it. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes (preferable covered and in a warm place) till bubbles start forming.

3. Add this mixture to the flour and start kneading. You will need more water to bring the dough together. I prefer to use lukewarm water here. The dough should be slightly sticky and quite soft.

4. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and set aside for about 10 minutes. Knead the dough again for 5 minutes till it is smooth and springy and then set it aside in a generously oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough till it doubles in size (takes about 2 hours - timings vary slightly depending on the weather)

5. Once doubled, take the dough out on a lightly floured surface and punch the air out of it. Knead it for a minute or two and divide it into eight equal parts. Roll each part with the palm of your hand until smooth and then shape it. Keep it on the lined tray.

6. Using a pastry brush, brush the milk on top of these rolls. Brush evenly. Then sprinkle sesame seeds (if using)

7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. They should turn completely golden brown and should sound hollow when you tap them at the bottom. I have used the cake testing method to check doneness -  you shouldn't get any wet crumbs sticking to the skewer.


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