I made this fantastic soup last week (healthy Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup found here), and these rolls are what went with it. I’ve been searching for a great whole wheat recipe for years, and love this one. My mom’s recipe just didn’t adapt well from the Indiana-baking of my childhood to my Utah-baking now. The altitude and dryness really do change things! I think the eggs in the recipe are the key. The bread is very tender and soft.
The clover roll is my mother-in-law’s specialty. She makes her version for every family gathering and no one complains. I think she owns twelve to fifteen muffin tins so that she can make gobs and gobs of rolls at a time. Here’s the beauty of the clover roll in my mind: a traditional roll is broken in half and you can butter the top and bottom; a clover roll splits into three pieces. Three pieces to butter instead of two is always a good thing in my book; plus they are absolutely beautiful.
Let me know if you make these. I think you’ll be super pleased because they are fantastic.
2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons wheat gluten (optional)
7-8 cups whole wheat flour
Add the warm water, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer and allow it to sit and get bubbly for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, honey, butter, salt, gluten, and 2 cups of flour to the bowl. Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients in the bowl on low speed for 5-6 minutes. This is the stage my mom calls “the cake batter stage”, and it is important to work the gluten in the whole wheat flour well at this point. Add the remaining flour, a half-cup at a time, while the mixer is running, until the dough starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom of the bowl. Let the dough mix well in between each addition of flour. It should take around 10 minutes of mixing, adding flour, mixing, etc. for the dough to be ready. When the dough ready turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until it is soft and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and return to a clean, lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 18 muffin tin holes. To make the rolls, pinch a small piece of dough, about the size of a large marble or small walnut and shape it into a round ball. The top of the dough just needs to be round, the bottom can be more pointed. Lots of the imperfections in the shape will smooth out as the dough rises again. Put the piece of dough into a muffin tin hole. Repeat this process until the dough is gone and you have three little balls of dough in each muffin tin hole. Let the rolls rise in the muffin tins, covered, for 30 minutes.
Bake the rolls in the hot over for 18-22 minutes until the tops start to brown. Dump the rolls out of the tin into a towel when the come out of the oven. Serve hot with butter and honey.
Notes: I’m sure the bread could be made without the addition of gluten, but I think it really helps. Gluten is cheap and can be found in the baking isle. I think it’s worth the purchase if you are going to be making lots of whole wheat bread products.
Here’s proof of the deliciousness. Can you see the baby in his chair eating a roll? I was trying to get a picture in before I served dinner and he just couldn’t wait, and I couldn’t blame him!