It was about 4 o’clock the other day, my Beef Barley Soup was bubbling away on the stove, and I was just starting to wonder what else we should have with our soup for dinner. For some reason I was coming up blank, so I did what I always do when I come up blank—I Google-d the question. And lo and behold there were several answers to my query “What to serve with beef barley soup”.
Never mind that the answer was a resounding ‘crusty bread and a salad’. Well, I could have come up with that myself. But it got me thinking…should I make a mad dash to the store to pick up a loaf?
And then I had a much better idea. I remembered seeing these rolls on Debby’s site, A Feast for the Eyes, and I remembered that she claimed that they were made from start to finish in about an hour. I know, sounds more like a Lens Crafter’s commercial than a good dinner roll. But somehow I trusted Debby and I’m glad I did. We had fluffy dinner rolls with our soup last night and they were just as fast as Debby promised.
I played a little bit with the recipe because I was going for a little more whole grain presence. Mine were fluffy, chewy, hearty and lovely. I will be playing with this recipe for a while forward, trying out different flours. I used my stand mixer with its dough hook to do the work. You can of course do these by hand.
The trick with so many yeast breads is finding the perfect warm spot in your house where the yeast can hang out and do its thing. For the first rise Debby suggests that you can actually use your oven—set it at its lowest setting for a minute or two, then shut it off. It will remain warm and cozy, just make sure it isn’t too hot. If you can find a spot that’s between 80 and 90 degrees F, that’s ideal.
Quick Whole Grain Oat Dinner Rolls ~~~adapted from A Feast for the Eyes
makes 9 rolls
1 1/2 packets (3 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water (between 105F and 115F)
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
more melted butter for brushing after baking
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, put the water, sugar and yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Meanwhile, mix the flours and salt together and set aside.
- Melt the butter, then add the milk and heat gently to about 110F. You can do this in a saucepan or in the microwave, but use a digital thermometer to be accurate. If it gets too hot, let it cool to the correct temperature.
- When cooled, pour the warm milk and butter into the bowl with the yeast, and then add about 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Turn on the mixer and mix for about a minute. While the mixer is going, gradually add in enough of the rest of the flour to form a soft dough— it will start to come away from the side of the bowl. Let the mixer knead the dough on low for about 2 more minutes. It will be elastic and a little sticky.
- Take the dough a put it in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to completely coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise, about 20-25 minutes.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and divide into thirds, then divide the thirds into three parts, for a total of 9 rolls.
- Take each piece of dough and form a ball in your hand, stretching corners around to the back and giving them a twist. The top should be domed and rounded. Set each roll in a buttered square baking dish. Cover the dish with a towel and set in a warm place to rise, about 20-25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 while the rolls rise. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the pan and set on a rack. Brush with melted butter immediately, and sprinkle on a few oats for garnish if you like.
I know a lot of you have your own favorite dinner rolls, and I’d love to hear about them—feel free to link to them in the comments. This could become habit forming :)