I have had many people try my recipe for Feather Wheat Rolls and tell me that they didn't turn out quite the same as mine.
Even when the recipe is followed. Exactly.
Somehow, they were more dense....not quite as soft.
So, I decided to do a step-by-step post.
Hopefully, yours will turn out soft and light!
I start with 4 c. freshly ground white wheat flour. I like the texture and mild flavor that I get with white wheat. I also believe that you can't beat freshly ground...
If you can't grind your own flour, I would suggest buying a high quality wheat flour and freezing it once it's opened.
My freshly ground wheat is aerated. To measure store bought wheat flour, sift it or stir it with your measuring cup. Too much flour in your dough can contribute to a heavy, dense bread.
In my wheat bread recipes, I add 1 T. of vital wheat gluten.
This is totally optional.
You don't HAVE to do it.
Try making your bread with it.
Then try making it without.
See if you find a difference.
I add 1 T. active dry yeast straight to my flour and stir it right in.
I wouldn't recommend using instant yeast with wheat breads. Instant yeast is only good for one rise. I believe wheat bread doughs do better with sponging (1/2 total flour, yeast, sugars + wet ingredients mixed and allowed to sit for 10-30 minutes).
When the wheat flour soaks in your liquids, it softens the bran,
therefore making your bread less 'heavy.'
Don't ever, ever, forget the 2 t. of salt.
I did it once.
My bread tasted bland.
I try to use powdered milk whenever I remember to.
Read the directions for conversion.
It's easier to get the milk out of the fridge, but then you would need to warm it up...
Powdered milk saves this warming up milk step.
For this powdered milk, I add 1 T. and increase my water an additional 1/2 c.
Or, you can just use 1/2 c. of warm milk instead.
(recipe calls for 1 c. water + 1/2 c. milk)
I like to use canola oil whenever possible.
If you use olive oil or butter, it will change the taste of your bread.
Here's 1/3 c.
I add my honey directly to my oil
Here's 1/4 c.
add water and mix it right in.
After I pour in the honey/oil mixture to my dry ingredients, I fill up the measuring cup again with water...
Stir it up good to get every last drop of oil/honey.
I mix everything up really well, even scraping down the sides.
Then I cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it sit (sponge) for 20-30 minutes.
This is what is now looks like.
The dough looks softer (the flour has broken down in the liquids)
and there are teeny, tiny, bubbles on the surface.
Bubbles are good. That means your yeast is working.
This recipe calls for UP TO 1 c. of all purpose flour. You can use wheat flour, but be careful not to add too much...
Tap in a little at a time (1/4 c.) and let it mix in well.
If you use wheat flour, let the mixer knead for 2 minutes between additions of flour.
Watch for the dough to cling to the dough hook...
Take a look at the sides of this bowl.
Most of the dough is on the hook.
About 5% is on the outside of the bowl.
Stop adding flour at this point!!!
(See how lumpy my dough is....fast forward 3 pictures)
Here's another test to see if your dough is ready.
Touch it lightly.
The dough should feel tacky, but not super sticky.
Look at my finger.
There's not much dough on it. That's okay.
That's what I want.
If your dough is oooey gooey sticky, even after letting the mixer knead it for 3-5 minutes, you need to add a little more flour, 1/4 c. at a time.
I let my mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes.
Wheat dough NEEDS more mixing/kneading time to get it smooth, soft and silky.
It's okay if there is a little bit of dough on the sides.
Bread dough needs a warm, not hot (85 degree) place to rise.
I put this in a greased 6 c. measure, oiled the top and put plastic wrap on it.
Put it in your UNheated oven with a pan of HOT water under it.
Close the door.
Now this dough only took about 30 minutes to double.
It may take longer where you live because of altitude.
Or temperature. Cooler temps slow the rising of your dough.
It may take up to an hour.
I take my dough out and divide it into 2 piles on a lightly oiled counter top and cover them with plastic wrap.
See my dough scraper and serrated bread knife?
Cant' live without those.
Wait 10 minutes.
If you let your dough 'rest' before shaping, it will be easier to roll out.
It will be like putty in your hands...
I like to roll each pile into a circle.
And cut each circle into 12 wedges.
Or you can check these other roll shapes.
I like to use this dough for hamburger buns. This recipe makes 12 large, nice lookin' buns!
To make these crescent shaped rolls, I start with the wide edge and roll towards the small point.
I then place them POINT side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.
If you put them point side up, your rolls will UNroll during the baking process!
Then I curve the ends inward for a nice shape.
I like to space my rolls out a couple of inches apart, so they keep there nice shapes.
It's okay to have Siamese rolls once in a while...
I cover the entire baking sheet with plastic wrap, put it in my UN heated oven with a hot pan of water, and wait 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, my rolls have doubled.
Here's another way to see if your rolls have doubled.
Give 'em a slight squeeze. Like squeezing Charmin.
It should feel soft and squishy.
Bake them until they are golden brown.
Slather with loads of butter and enjoy!