Saturday, January 15, 2011

Whole Wheat Freezer Rolls

I made crescent rolls for the first time last Thanksgiving. I gave this recipe (scroll down past the white rolls) from No Empty Chairs a try. The freezing instructions for this recipe intrigued me. If it convenient!

I made the dough, formed the rolls (I did crescents) and let them rise. Then I baked the rolls half way, then froze them. When I was ready to eat them, I let them thaw on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes, then baked them up and they were piping hot for dinner.

It took me a couple of tries to get the baking times right, but now I am really happy with the process. They are so quick that sometimes I will bake up a tray in the morning and pop some scrambled eggs inside when they come out of the oven.

Whole Wheat Rolls

2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
2 eggs
6 TB honey
¼ cup canola oil (or light olive oil)
5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 TB salt
1 TB instant yeast
1 – 2 cups additional whole wheat flour


Whisk together wet ingredients.

Add 5 cups flour, wheat gluten, salt and yeast and mix until well combined.

Knead (by hand or with mixer) in enough additional flour so that dough just begins to form a ball. Knead for 5-6 minutes.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before shaping rolls.

Shape into crescents (or balls, or knots). Let rise until double (1-2 hours) on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) . Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees, until the rolls barely start to brown. Cool on a wire rack, then place back on the cookie sheet and let them freeze in the oven an hour or so. Transfer the rolls to a ziploc bag and return to the freezer.

To bake frozen rolls: Defrost the rolls on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes (while the oven preheats to 375 degrees). Brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash (1 egg plus 1 TB water) and sprinkle on coarse salt, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Bake the rolls for 7-10 minutes, until golden brown. If you don't want to do the egg wash/salt/sesame and poppy seeds, just wait until the rolls come out of the oven and brush the tops with butter. Mmmm.

If you want to bake them without freezing:

Let them rise until doubled, then bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

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