Is it just me, or is there something about honey whole wheat rolls that seems so inherently perfect for springtime? I know I decided to call these “dinner rolls” and therefore I’m already contradicting myself right now, but I can’t help but think of weekend brunches complete with these rolls, honey butter, and lots of mimosas (plus all the other things you eat at brunch, obviously, but we’re talking about essentials here.) ;)
And really, I’d have no problem with making a complete meal out of these fluffy, puffy, rolls, hot from the oven, slathered in butter, and dipped in honey to my heart’s content. They’re so freakin’ good that there’s really no words to adequalty describe them, but if you’ve ever experienced a batch of the most amazing homemade bread served fresh and warm, with butter oozing into every little crevice, you should have no problem understanding what I’m getting at here. There’s this brief moment where the world feels like a perfect place and nothing else exists besides pillowy bread rolls with just the perfect amount of honeyed sweetness. It’s exactly the kind of comfort food that makes me want to forget about any sort of healthy eating in the name of a sweet, carb-laden splurge that makes my heart sing.
So might I just suggest that this weekend (and Easter weekend, and all spring long, even all year long?!) be partly dedicated to making these rolls, splurging on honey butter, and temporarily forgetting about the issue of carbs? And hey, while we’re at it, let’s throw in the brunch and mimosas too. I mean really, you only live once.
Soft, tender, and fluffy bread rolls with a hint of honeyed sweetness - amazing plain but HEAVENLY served warm from the oven, smeared with butter and dunked in honey.
- 12 1/4 ounces (2 7/8 cups, spoon and level) bread flour, divided
- 4 1/4 ounces (1 cup, spoon and level) whole wheat flour
- 2 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup, spoon and level) rye flour
- one 1/4 oz. packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast (I like Red Star Platinum)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 9 5/8 ounces (1 1/8 cup) buttermilk
- 3 ounces (1/4 cup) honey
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons honey
- rolled oats, for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, whisk together 10 5/8 ounces (2 1/2 cups, spoon and level) bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, yeast, and salt.
- In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, honey, and oil until smoothly combined. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until the mixture reaches 125º-130ºF as registered by an instant-read thermometer . (Note that the mixture will look odd at this point due to heating the buttermilk). Whisk until as smooth as possible, and while continuing to whisk, slowly pour in beaten egg until smoothly combined.
- Add liquid ingredients to the dry mixture and fold in as best as possible with a spatula. Use hands to knead into a single ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto counter and knead 10-15 minutes, until fairly elastic, adding as much of the remaining 1 5/8 ounces (3/8 cup, spoon and level) bread flour as needed to prevent the dough from getting stuck to your hands or the counter; don't add more flour than necessary.
- Shape dough into a smooth ball and cover surface with greased plastic wrap. Let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, grease an 8"-9" square baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Divide dough into 9 equal portions and shape each portion into a ball by stretching the dough out with your palms to form a smooth top and pinching the edges together underneath. Cup the sides of the dough ball in your palms and rotate it gently to further smooth it out. Arrange dough in a 3x3 pattern in prepared pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and leave to rise until taking up most of space in pan, about 60-90 minutes.
- Towards end of rising period, preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk together butter and honey for glaze.
- Just before baking, brush glaze over all exposed areas of rolls and sprinkle tops with oats. Bake rolls in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the internal temperature reads just over 190ºF and the tops are deep golden in color.
- Serve warm, preferably fresh from the oven, with honey and butter if desired. Keep any leftovers covered in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.