Stir-Friday! Sandwich Rolls

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Simple rolls from scratch using only this stuff.

I wasn’t planning on doing two Stir-Fridays in a row, but I’ve been really busy recently and I already had this one typed up.  May is pretty hectic, with a wedding last weekend, a family graduation this weekend, a beach trip the next week, capped off with a conference for work at the end.  I’ll try to get back to regular posting in June, but it’s shaping up to be fairly busy too.  Anyway….

It’s that time again.  It’s Stir-Friday! For the complete list of this series click here. Today’s recipe is one I’ve been making for a while now, and it’s my go-to bread recipe.  Simple, delicious, awesome.  Baking is something that can make anyone happy.  Assuming of course you don’t end up fighting the smoke detector and biting into what can only be called ‘civil war rations.’  The smell of freshly baked goods alone is enough to boost my mood.  So I thought today I’d give you a very user-friendly bread recipe.  Impress all your friends with your baking prowess by making these.

Sandwich Rolls

These rolls are awesome.  They are part whole wheat.  They are soft, with a great texture.  They have enough structure to support pretty much any burger or slider.  They also work excellently as an accompaniment to soup (maybe even Red Lentil Soup). In short, they have everything you want from a bread recipe. Also, they taste really, really good.

If you are one of those people who is scared of baking with yeast, now is the time to push those boundaries and start with this very straightforward bread recipe.  Below I’m going to give you a few tips I’ve picked up along the way, along with some pretty specific instructions, so you should be on your way to delicious home-baked goodies in no time.  If you are a seasoned baker, feel free to take my recommendations with a grain of salt (see what I did there?).  So here is the recipe with a bunch of pictures.

Sandwich Rolls (makes 9 large, or 16 medium/small rolls)

  • 3/4 to 1 and 1/4 cup warm water [roughly 85-95 degrees, or slightly warm to the touch]
  • 1 slightly heaping Tbsp of ActiveDry yeast [or one flat Tbsp instant yeast]
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt [or 1 tsp table salt]
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus a pinch
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 melted Tbsp for topping
  • 1 large egg
  • some oil

Mix yeast and a pinch of sugar into the warm water (I usually start with a little more than 3/4 cup and add more if necessary), and let yeast proof while mixing other ingredients.  In a large heat-proof bowl combine flours, salt, sugar and mix well.

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Yeast starter

Mixed up dry ingredients

Add proofed yeast, egg, and 2 Tbsp softened butter.  Mix well.  You may need to add some water (or flour) if the dough is too dry (wet).  Knead dough for about 5 minutes.  I usually do this by picking it up, and just folding it in half repeatedly.

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Be sure the get all that excess flour worked in there

Shape dough into a ball and lightly oil your bowl (roughly a tablespoon of oil).  Place dough into oiled bowl and lightly coat the dough with oil by rotating the dough in the bowl.

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Ball of dough in an oiled bowl

Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 45 min to an hour).  I usually let the dough rise in my oven.  I turn the oven on low for about 2 minutes, then shut the heat off.  Then put the dough in.  This gives the dough a nice warm place to rise.

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Yikes! Looks like I need to clean up the oven.  Those are globs of paint on the right by the way.

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Gently deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface, or pastry cloth.  Shape dough into a square with the dough about an inch thick.

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Pre-deflated dough

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Deflated and turned out

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Shape the dough using one hand as a wall

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Don’t be such a square!

Cut into 9 or 16 pieces.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat (if you don’t have either, just oil, or heavily spray, your baking sheet).

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Shape rolls by pinching together the corners of each piece of dough.  This will give the rolls a nice smooth top.  Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten each roll.

Place the rolls on the pan not touching, but close to one another.  The idea is that after they rise they will all be touching.

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Everybody needs a little elbow room.

Let rise until visibly puffy (about another 45 min to an hour).  Again, I do this in the slightly warm oven.

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You can see that they rose nicely, and are just touching

Bake at 375 for 8-14 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown on top (warning: they get dry if you overcook them.  I usually just leave mine in for 12ish minutes for 9 rolls, or 8ish minutes for 16 rolls, but it will depend on your oven. If you have a thermometer, they are done when the internal temp is 190).

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Immediately after the rolls come out, brush tops with the 1 Tbsp melted butter.  This step softens the crust, leaving a melt-in-your-mouth, tender, and chewy roll. Not to mention adding buttery goodness to the flavor.

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Mmmmm… buttery rolls

Let cool a few minutes, then enjoy.  I like them best with a little butter and honey.  Mmmmmm.

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Kitchen organizer and cooling rack all in one

Recipe adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe.

After they cool you can keep them in an airtight container for about 9-10 days before they get moldy.  Mine rarely last that long :)

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The end product. Fluffy, moist, and very slightly sweet. They are great plain or as a bun for any sandwich or burger.  I recently made sliders with these and some pulled pork. Needless to say, there were incredible.

Did you try the rolls?  How did they turn out?

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