Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oats Whole Wheat and Barley Rolls

If this posts gets a nursery rhyme stuck in your head, that’s OK if that motivates you to bake these rolls. Of course if you forget to add the oats, like I did, it is a more pedestrian Whole Wheat and Barley Rolls.

There is nothing like fresh, warm from the oven dinner rolls at a potluck, especially when you know that the hostess is providing slices of ham and roast turkey. It may not seem as seasonal as candy cane cookies or fudge, but pot lucks are so typical of entertaining during the busy holiday season…the work is shared and we get to make something wonderful to bring. I'm submitting this as an entry for Bread Baking Day # 15, hosted by Annarasa, with the theme of celebrations.

This recipe is based on one of Marion Cunningham’s from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. In case you have not read this book, it is a wonderful compendium of basic baking recipes, plus riffs on those. I especially like the front and back endpapers which have measurement equivalents, a basic pie dough formula, how to make a piece of parchment into a piping bag, how to soften gelatin and other tips.

Twenty-four to thirty soft, crusty, warm, yeasty dinner rolls are hard to beat. I made mine as pull-apart pan rolls, leaving about 2/3 of them plain on top and adding seeds to the rest. I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with barley flour and whole wheat flour and used my whole wheat starter.

NOTE: To use regular yeast instead of starter, when I add the starter to the other ingredients, leave that out and sprinkle 1 package dry yeast on top of the ingredients, stir, and let stand to dissolve.

A bonus is that your house smells yeasty and wonderful for hours. These would also be great for Christmas dinner, with roast beef or turkey or goose.

Whole Wheat and Barley Rolls
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or ¼ cup0 butter, softened (plus another 2 tablespoons if making pan rolls)
1 cup whole wheat starter – if using dry yeast, see Note above
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup barley flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/13 – 3 cups all-purpose flour

Stir the warm milk, sugar, salt, and butter together in large mixing bowl. Make sure that the liquid is no warmer than 115 degrees F dry yeast, ten degrees less for cake yeast and starter.

Stir in the starter, then beat in the barley flour, whole wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour.

Switch to the dough hook if you are using one. Beat in the rest of the flour on low speed. Continue to knead with the mixer 5-6 minutes or turn out onto a flour surface and knead for 6 – 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Put into a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap,a nd let rise until dougle in buld, Punch down and form into rolls.

Pan pull-apart rolls: Melt 2 – 3 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish in the microwave, making sure to cover the dish with waxed paper to keep spatters down.

Take the dough ball and divide it in half. Roll each half into a roughly 12 inch rope. Cut each rope into one inch pieces.

Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into a ball. Continue until all balls are made. Dip each ball in butter, coating all sides, then place in an 8 or 9 inch cake pan, leaving a little room between balls. If desired, sprinkle with seeds.

Cover loosely and let rise until double in bulk.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are a ddp golden brown. Remove from the oven, ease the rolls out of the pan and onto a rack to cool for a moment. Serve while warm with butter.


  1. Oooh! Yum! Sounds like something to be making in the next day or two, visiting family! Hope you're well, and we're going to try to swing by your neck of the woods sometime after Christmas.

  2. Dear David & Tad, we will be around for the holidays and would love to see you both! Maybe a longer visit this time??

  3. It is always a bonus when your house can smell yeasty! These do look like a great dinner roll.

  4. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Happy Holidays, Elle! :)

  5. These are beautiful rolls, Elle. My compliments.