Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cracked Wheat Rolls

These buttery, mildly sweet, slightly crunchy rolls have been a staple at our Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas) table now for years.  They take a bit of extra effort to make, but are completely worth it.  They are amazing fresh from the oven, but they are nearly as good if you make them the day before, then re-warm for a few minutes in the oven just before serving.

Cracked Wheat Rolls

Cracked-Wheat Rolls 

From Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates

1 cup bulghur
1-1/4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
4 or 5 cups unbleached white bread flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter (for brushing on top of baked rolls.

Place bulghur in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Add 2 tbsp. butter, stir, and set aside to cool to warm/room temperature-ish.

Make sponge: in a small bowl, stir yeast into the 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.  When bulghur has cooled for about 15 minutes, add the yeast mixture, brown sugar, and 1 cup of flour. Beat for 100 strokes.  (This sounds like a lot, but it really only takes a moment, and you get a chance to take out a little bit of your holiday aggression on the rolls.)

Cover the large bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise in a warm place until the mixture bubbles, about 45 minutes.

Uncover the sponge and stir in the beaten egg, salt, and 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour to make a dough stiff enough to knead. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.  Spray the bowl with cooking spray or smear with vegetable oil.  Place kneaded dough back into the greased bowl and turn to coat.  Cover bowl with damp towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.

Lightly oil a large baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper (my favorite way!)

Punch down the dough and turn it onto a cutting board. Divide the dough into 16 to 18 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let rise again for 20 minutes.

Preheat the over to 400 degrees. When the rolls have risen, bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. Remove from oven and immediately brush with the melted butter.


Cracked Wheat Rolls

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