Wheat Rolls in a Breadmaker

April 28, 2009

wheat dinner rollYes, Virginia, it's perfectly okay to use your breadmaker to make dinner rolls. That's what the dough setting is for.

Inspired by the Lion House in Salt Lake City I wanted to try my hand and making dinner rolls. Because I'm on a current health kick, that will likely end in the next five minutes only to be taken up again next week, I decided to increase the fiber content of the original recipes I'd found by exchanging half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour and replace some saturated fats with the unsaturated kind. I refuse to give up a soft texture and yummy flavor, though. These aren't exactly “healthy,” but compared to the original recipes that inspired them, they're bit better for you.


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon dough conditioner
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons non-fat dry milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

olive oil as needed, before cooking
melted butter as needed, after cooking


Put the first ten ingredients in your breadmaker in the order listed. At least, that's the order for such things in my bread maker. Set it to the “dough” cycle and let it run. Mine takes just over an hour so feel free to put in a DVD or tune the TV into a cooking show while you wait.

Okay, dear. I guess I could wash the dishes.

At the end of the cycle, remove the dough from the pan and place it in a bowl that has been greased with olive oil. Turn the dough to coat evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about an hour).

how to cut dinner roll dough Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured counter top or cutting board. Punch the dough down and roll out into an 18 inch by 8 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into eighteen pieces as shown in the diagram on the left.

Drizzle olive oil over the dough, and roll each piece up, from the short end. Transfer to a floured baking sheet, cover, and proof until double in size. (In case you don't know, "proofing" is another word for the final rise.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter or more olive oil.

Makes 18 rolls.

Half-Wheat Bread Breadmaker Recipe

April 27, 2009

Most of the recipes that come with your bread maker are going to be just fine. My friend Jennifer came up with her own variations that work even better. Inspired by her, I jumped in with both feet and started playing with bread maker recipes, too.

A staple bread recipe with my family is for a half-wheat bread that Jennifer came up with. By itself, the recipe makes nice, soft, and tasty bread. I've modified the recipe by adding a couple of the "secret ingredients" - wheat gluten and dough conditioner. They help the dough rise a bit more evenly, and give the bread a more consistent crumb.

Half-Wheat Bread a la Jennifer (re-interpreted by the Mormon Foodie)

This recipe will make a nice 1 1/2 pound loaf in your breadmaker. The ingredients are listed in the order suggested by my breadmaker's manufacturer. Check the order recommended for your breadmaker. It does make a difference.

1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup white flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp wheat gluten
1 tsp dough conditioner

Use the "wheat" cycle. I recommend setting it to make a "light" loaf.

After baking, remove the loaf from the pan, cover with a kitchen towel and cool on a wire rack.

Every so often I'll make a couple of loaves of 100% whole wheat bread the "old fashioned" way on a weekend, but it's more common for me to use the breadmaker during the week. Its' faster and it cuts down on making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with crappy, store-bought "air" bread.


Secret Breadmaker Ingredients

April 25, 2009

I love my breadmaker (a.k.a the bread machine, a.k.a. The Great White Wonder Cube!). It makes great bread, with less than half the work. The more I learn about it, the more I use it and the better results I get. The best part of using a breadmaker is you don't have to babysit it. With most recipes, you can set it up before you go to bed, set the timer, and enjoy fresh warm bread for breakfast.

There are a few things they don't tell you in the recipe book that comes with your bread machine, though. The moisture content in flour can vary, depending on age and environment. No matter how rigorously you follow the recipe, sometimes it's just not going to work out like you want it to. There are a few ingredients, we can add to the recipes to ensure that they turn out wonderfully every time.

Vital Wheat Gluten

Gluten is grain protein. Not all flours have the same protein content. Bread flour has a higher protein content than All-purpose flour, for example, while cake flour has less protein content. Bread flour can cost more, sometimes a lot more, than all-purpose flour and most bread maker recipes call for all purpose flour.

Instead of buying several different kinds of flour for every little thing you do, I buy all-purpose flour and then add wheat gluten when making bread to increase the protein content. It's not expensive and you need very little, about two teaspoons per loaf, so a single can of the stuff will last quite a long time.

When adding wheat gluten to a breadmaker recipe, I find I get the best results if I add it to the pan with the flour. The manufacturer of my bread machine recommends adding the water before the flour, so I add the wheat gluten right after I put in the flour, just to keep it away from the water. It just seems to work best for me this way.

If you have gluten allergies, you shouldn't be eating regular wheat bread in the first place. I'm hoping to experiment with gluten free breads in the bread maker, later on.

Dough Conditioner

Second to wheat gluten is commercial dough conditioner. Different conditioners contain different ingredients. Commonly, they are combination of wheat gluten, yeast and chemicals such as ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), ammonium chloride, DATEM (an emulsifier), different calcium salts and soy.

It's a common problem with bread makers that have vertical pans to have a lighter crumb at the top of the bread loaf and a denser crumb at the bottom. Dough conditioners help solve this problem by strengthening the texture and giving a more consistent rise, leading to a more consistent crumb.