Sunday, December 11, 2011

Preserving Health

Baking with my mom can be like pulling teeth. I love her dearly, but when it comes to making something together that the rest of the family is going to be eating, God forbid that any recipe "tweaking" or changes to the written recipe of any sort happen along the way. She doesn't trust recipes of my own design for family fare either. Other blogs? Magazines? People on TV? No problem. Her own daughter though? Not so much. Le sigh.

I regret to say that while yes, these rolls (sent to YeastSpotting) are of my own design, and that my mom loves the recipe enough to serve them for our Christmas Eve shindig, they are the product of a lie. I told my mom that they came out of a French cookbook I read through at Chapters the other day, after she mentioned a week or so ago that she was looking for a good whole wheat dinner roll for the holiday meal. She agreed we could make the recipe - if we made a test version first. That was no problem with me, of course, but it also involved me giving Mom a little "education" on sourdough, whole wheat and soakers. The woman taught me how to bake as a child, but it was white flour basics and our once-a-year Challah. Let's say I've evolved a little bit.

I feel guilty as heck for having to make up the story to get Mom's approval, but in a way I also am somewhat let down that I had to in the first place. C'est la vie. Her mental health is preserved, and given the rest of the world that's on her shoulders right now it's a small plus. If I'm going to Hell for the white (or whole wheat) lie, at least I'm making the trip in a bread basket, and hopefully with some of these yummy buns tucked alongside me.

Faux "French Health Rolls"
Makes 15
1 cup active sourdough starter (feed it a couple times before making this)
1 ½ cups warm water
2 tbsp instant mashed potato flakes
¼ tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp raw sugar (I steal the packets from Starbucks... shhh!)
2 ½ cups flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
  1. The night before baking, cover 12-grain cereal with hot water and let stand overnight.
  2. The morning of baking, lightly oil a 9 x13” pan.
  3. In a sturdy bowl, combine the sourdough starter (which should be vibrant and frothy), water, potato flakes, yeast, and sugar.
  4. Begin beating in the flour, adding ½ cup at a time until dough is manageable.
  5. Knead for 2 minutes. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the soaked grains and combine with the salt, melted butter, lemon juice and flax seeds.
  7. Knead in this mixture until well dispersed, then continue kneading 8-9 minutes until supple.
  8. Place dough in a bowl, cover and set in a warm place to double in size, about 2 hours.
  9. When dough has doubled, punch down and with lightly floured hands, form into 15 rolls.
  10. Place in the oiled pan and cover. Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  12. Bake the pan of rolls for 20 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 218.0
Total Fat: 3.1 g
Cholesterol: 4.1 mg
Sodium: 13.4 mg
Total Carbs: 41.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
Protein: 7.0 g

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