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Janet McCormick: Feather Rolls let you do whole wheat deliciously

April 12, 2018 GMT

For as far back as I can remember, these rolls have been the family favorite at all of our holiday gatherings. I’m happy to report that these are not a passed-down generational recipe. It was my blood, sweat and tears, literally, that inspired the life of these light-as-air rolls.

I was a young mother determined not to fall in the soap opera-watching, bored housewife and mother role, so I began my own bread making 101 class.

Of course, I was the teacher and the only student, unless you count a toddler and raspberry-blowing baby boy who had the cutest smile because he thought I was talking to him when I put a few exhausting words to my failed attempts at making what would eventually turn out to be the best bread in the world.

It might be a surprise to some when I tell you I was not at all comfortable with making just any old common roll everyone could make. No, I had to reach for the stars as I ground my own wheat and used the entire wheat berry - including the casing, which provided the healthy fiber our bodies crave.

If you know anything about flour, whole wheat presents its own unique brand of fussiness. It has this innate characteristic of disregarding my goal of light and fluffy - AKA feather - texture I longed to create. It’s heavy and dense and can retain a heavy unappealing flavor if it’s not combined with ingredients I’m gonna tell you about.

I wanted a healthier organic and natural roll to serve at our family Thanksgiving dinner. And then it happened. My sister-in-law went on and on about how delicious she found them to be and has requested them every year after that.

They are delicious and sometimes I surprise everyone and make them for family events that aren’t holidays.

Feather Rolls

About 3 cups whole wheat flour

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup melted real butter

1/4 cup honey

11/4 tsp. Salt

2 T. Butter melted

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In bowl, combine the warm water, the 1/3 cup melted butter, cream, honey. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is sticky but with floured hands you can still knead it. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover.

Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. With lightly floured hands, shape dough into 15 rolls. Arrange rolls in prepared pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until nearly double in size. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake about 25 minutes or until rolls are golden. Brush with butter.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.