As a total carboholic I would take the bread over the main course entree any day. It’s a dangerous preference. Anyone else share it? For those of us who love bread but know the importance of moderation and getting in enough whole grains, it can be a struggle to find daily balance. Most of the time whole wheat bread is horribly dense, dry, and overly flavored by the wheat. This recipe for Whole Grain Oat Rolls, however, is here to prove that healthy bread doesn’t have to taste bad!
I first love these rolls because they’re beautiful. Slightly rustic but made special with the sprinkling of oats on top. Who could resist one at the dinner table? But the fact that this recipe is totally doable (promise, just watch the video below) and can be made ahead of time means they hit ALL the marks in my book!
P.S. – I love serving these rolls with a flavored butter than can stand up to the flavor profile of the nutty whole grain goodness. Since it’s currently fall my Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter is a MUST. Also, make-ahead instructions for the rolls are at the bottom of the printable recipe down below.
Taste: Slightly nutty and earthy without being overwhelming.
Texture: Surprisingly light for whole grain bread, but not quite as light as pure white bread. I actually like the little bit of texture the oat flour adds!
Ease: Super easy and I’ve even included a step-by-step video for those of you who get freaked out by homemade yeast bread.
Appearance: Beautiful! I love the contrast of the light colored oats on the browned tops.
Pros: Perfect healthy accompaniment to just about any dinner. Can also be made ahead of time.
Would I make this again? Yes!
How to make Whole Grain Oat Rolls
Yield: 9 rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 10 minutes
White whole wheat flour works best here because you get all the nutrition of whole wheat without all the dense texture and intense wheat flavor. However, if you can’t find it, feel free to use regular whole wheat flour. You can also use active dry yeast in this recipe, just be sure to let it proof with the liquid mixture for 5 minutes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup water
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving (if desired)
1 cup (4.5 ounces) white whole wheat flour
1 cup (3.2 ounces) oat flour
1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 large egg
Old fashioned oats, for sprinkling
In a small saucepan combine the butter, milk, and water. Set over low heat until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool to about 110°F, or just warm to the touch. Stir in the yeast and honey.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or by hand), combine the white whole wheat flour, oat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir until combined. Knead on medium low speed until the dough comes together in a smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky ball. If the dough is unbearably sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Avoid adding extra flour if possible, sticky is better than dense.
Remove the dough to a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat completely in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into three equal pieces. Divide each piece into three pieces, for a total of 9 rolls. Form each piece into a smooth tight ball by stretching the corners around the bottom and rolling between your palm and the counter.
Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Place each ball of dough in the dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise again until puffy, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the rolls. Sprinkle with oats. Bake the rolls for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve with honey and butter, if desisred.
To make ahead:
Wrap the completely cooled rolls tightly in foil then place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month.
Let the rolls thaw at room temperature overnight before rewarming in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.
To make straight from the freezer:
Loosen the foil around the rolls place directly on the oven rack of a 300°F oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until warmed all the way through. Serve immediately before the rolls dry out from reheating.
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