I have been on the search for a decent bread roll recipe using 50% wholemeal flour, 50% white flour for a while. The basic yeasted white bread rolls recipe that I shared a few weeks ago produces great results every time, however I do love the texture and depth of flavour wholegrain flours add to a bread. Other recipes that I’ve tried for wholemeal bread have resulted in rolls that are too dry, quick to stale, or dense for my liking.
This recipe is my favourite. The blend of flours and inclusion of milk produce a light crumb, thin crispy crust and the tiny bit of butter in the dough helps it to stay fresh for longer. Even better is that this recipe doesn’t require a first prove and knocking back; you just mix the ingredients together, give it a quick knead, shape into rolls and leave to prove for 30 – 60 minutes before baking. Easy peasy!
If you make sourdough / naturally leavened bread, this recipe is also a good way to use up some of your discard from feeding your starter.
- 225g wholemeal bread flour
- 225g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 level tsp salt
- 140ml milk
- 140ml water
- 20g fresh yeast / 2 level tsp easy-blend dried yeast
- 1 level tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp butter
- Milk, for glazing
If using discard:
Substitute 50g of flour and 50ml of water for 100g discard. You will need to use 200g wholemeal bread flour, 200g strong white bread flour and 90ml water.
- Lightly grease two small baking sheets.
- Sift the flours into a bowl, add the salt and mix well. Then warm the flour slightly in an oven set to its lowest temperature.
- Pour the milk and water into a saucepan, and warm slightly (to around 29°C / 84°F). When at the target temperature, remove from the heat, transfer the liquid into a jug and add the yeast and the teaspoon of sugar. Give it a good stir and leave on one side.
- Remove the flour from the oven, rub in the butter, then make a well in the centre, stir the yeast liquid and pour it into the well. If using discard, you’ll add it at this stage in the process. Mix the ingredients together in the bowl with your hands until you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl cleanly.
- Tip the dough out onto a flat work surface and knead it for about 6 minutes, by which time it will have become very elastic and springy.
- Divide the dough into ten portions. To make the rolls the same size, weigh the dough, divide the total weight by ten then weigh each individual piece.
- To shape, stretch each piece into an oblong and fold one end into the middle and the other end over that. Then, with the folds underneath, shape the roll into a round ball.
- Place the rolls onto the well-greased baking sheets, cover with oiled transparent proofing bags (or you can use a large pedal-bin liner like I do, just make sure the plastic doesn’t touch the rolls during the proof). Leave the rolls to rise until they have doubled in size: 35-40 minutes in a warm place or 1 – 1 ½ hours at room temperature. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7 / 220°C / 200°C fan / 425°F.
- When the rolls have risen, using three middle fingers, press each roll down lightly in the centre to help disperse any large air bubbles. Brush with milk and dust lightly with white flour.
- Bake the rolls on a highish shelf of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until well coloured. They should sound hollow when you tap them underneath if they are cooked enough. Cool the rolls on a wire cooling rack.