Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dark Brown and Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls

I don't get to restaurants very often. Not nearly enough, to tell you the truth. Still, when I do go, I always check out the bread basket. You know the one. The basket of rolls and other home-baked goodies they bring you before the meal. To eat while you wait for your order to arrive. Filled with dinner rolls, made with white flour, or whole wheat or even rye. And with all kinds of decorations, like sesame seeds and so forth. The ones that intrigue me are the rolls that are dark brown in color, with a not too chewy crust, and soft on the inside. And for a while now I have been looking for a recipe to 'duplicate' these rolls. At last I think I have found one... This recipe is adapted from one I found in a new cookbook I have acquired Whole Grain Baking from King Arthur Flour, another in a long line of really informative cookbooks from KAF. These guys really know baking! Their site is great, replete with recipes, forums and even video lessons, you should definitely check them out.

The rolls are soft, and very dark (thanks to the cocoa powder, which, btw, you can barely taste), and very attractive. However like all small breads, these rolls tend to dry quickly, and so should be eaten right away. That is never a problem!

Here's What You'll Need:
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
1/3 cup orange juice
4 Tbs (60g) softened butter or margarine
1/3 cup honey (or other sweetener like silan - date honey)
2 1/4 cups (250g) whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups (270g) AP flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs (45g) sugar
2 Tbs (30g) cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast

Here's What You'll Need To Do:

Mix together ALL the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix thoroughly. If using a mixer, use the dough hook at medium speed for about 7 or 8 minutes.

 If kneading by hand, then knead for longer, like about 12 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth, and just barely sticky.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and let it rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into about 10 equal-sized pieces. Place the rolls on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover to proof again, about 45 minutes.

About 20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, until just slightly browned on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

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