Congratulations to my friends, H & A, on their wedding this weekend. Shaadi Mubaarak!
Summer may not seem like the best time to bake, but the warm, humid weather is perfect for proofing light, flavorful dough. These nutty, soft rolls are great toasted for breakfast or enjoyed with a bit of tea. If you start the recipe mid-afternoon, you'll be able to enjoy them just as the day begins to cool.
Whole Grain Bread Knots
1 heat-proof bowl
1 large mixing bowl
1 large sheet pan
2 cups of bread flour
1 tbsp of bread flour (for use as bench flour)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of lukewarm water
2 tsp of sea salt
1 tbsp of sugar
1/4 oz of active dry yeast
1/2 cup of steel cut oats
1/2 cup of cracked pearl barley
1 cup of crushed walnuts
1 cup of boiling water
- Combine the boiling water, oats, and barley in the heat-proof bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for at least one hour.
- Dissolve the sugar in the water, add the yeast, and let it bloom for five minutes.
- Combine the bread and whole wheat flour. Knead most of the olive oil into the flour until evenly distributed. Retain a small amount of the oil.
- Mix the dissolved yeast, milk, and flour together and knead until fully incorporated (roughly five minutes). Add the last cup of flour a little bit at the time. The dough should be a little sticky, not too dry. Retain any leftover flour and add to the bench flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for fifteen minutes.
- Knead the dough for another fifteen minutes until smooth. Add a little of the bench flour if the dough is too moist. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but should not stick to your hands. Form the dough into a ball.
- Using the last of the oil, coat the inside of the mixing bowl and dough ball. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (roughly an hour).
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface. Thoroughly drain the oats and barley, and mix in the crushed walnuts and salt. Fold the nut and grain mixture into the dough and knead gently until evenly distributed throughout.
Divide the dough into 10-12 equal portions. Roll each piece out into a 6-8 inch length roughly the diameter of a quarter, then tie the dough once into a round knot. Try to avoid compressing the dough as much as possible.
Place each knot on the sheet pan evenly spaced a few inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size again (roughly 30 minutes).
Heat your oven to 425ºF. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes until golden, brown, and delicious. Move to wire racks and let rest for at least an hour.
My preferred way of enjoying these is warm and with a little jam or honey.
Makes roughly 10-12 rolls.