Bulgar Wheat Rolls:
You Won’t Believe They’re Whole Grain (and Vegan to boot…)
I must admit, I love bread…soft, warm, yeasty rolls fresh out of the oven. However, some just don’t seem to cut the mustard. Many are dry, brick-like, and *gasp* made fully with All Purpose Flour (APF for the non-foodies)! Well, I have fallen head over heals for these rolls, and guess what? I was able to make them vegan quite easily! Vegan or not, your family will fall in love with these rolls…Believe it or not, I hadn’t heard of Bulgar wheat until earlier this year. I had no clue what I was missing out on…
Bulgar wheat is a hearty grain that is slow but easy to cook grain. You can buy it in a number of varieties, whole, fine grain, medium grain, extra-fine grained, etc. It’s cheap if you buy it in bulk, which I would highly recommend. After experimenting with these rolls, you’ll want to try out my other recipes using Bulgar Wheat (such as my Bulgar Wheat Salad) or as a substitute for pasta or rice in Mediterranean-style dishes, such as this Lamb Ragu I made about six months ago that I lovingly call “Turkish Spaghetti” (finished with a healthy dollop of goat cheese).
Anyway, back to dinner rolls…
How many times have you come home on a weeknight wanting a nice warm soup with a hearty roll? How many times did you actually have said roll around? Well, if you are anything like me, likely never…
Well, that’s going to change with these rolls. They keep beautifully, so I’m able to make a batch on Sunday to go with either lunch or dinner and have rolls available for dinners throughout the week. Better yet, refrigerate the dough and rip off a little when you get home and let it rise/warm up. Then when you are almost done cooking, pop it into your pre-heated oven to have a freshly baked roll! Either way, I can’t understate the greatness of these rolls.
Bulgar Wheat Dinner Rolls (adapted from: Chef in You)
- 0.5 cups Bulgar wheat (choose your coarseness, I used uncracked coarse Bulgar wheat)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2.25 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 0.25 cup warm water (80-90F)
- 1 cup milk (I used Light Silk Soy Milk)
- fresh or dried herbs of choice (optional to taste)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (or Traditional)
- 1.5 cups All Purpose Flour (I succumbed…but may reduce in the future)
First you’ll want to boil the water on the stove and get your Bulgar wheat ready in a medium-sized bowl. When the water is boiling, pour it over the Bulgar wheat and cover with Saran wrap. It will take ~1 hr for the Bulgar wheat to cook and absorb the water. Take this time to shower, start laundry, catch up on the game, whatever else you need to get done this fine day!
After an hour (or a little bit before) get your yeast ready to proof. Combine warm water, honey, and yeast in a small dish and proof the yeast. If you are new to yeast breads, it will be bubbly and foamy when it’s proofed. Warm up the milk in the microwave and combine with olive oil, salt, and herbs (if using), let this mixture cool to lukewarmish to a point which you’d be comfortable handling/kneading.
Place the milk mixture in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast mixture, then add the cooked Bulgar wheat. Give the mixture a quick whisk and start adding the flour in parts until you get a thick dough that you can’t stir anymore.
When it isn’t stirrable, roll out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading the rest of the flour into the dough. This was a very moist and tack dough for me, so it took a bit more than the 3 cups of flour to get the texture just right. When you are finished kneading the dough, you want it to be smooth and not tacky (i.e. not sticking to your fingers, which it definitely will at first). When you are finished kneading the dough, lightly rub olive oil on the dough ball and place into a large container. Cover with Saran wrap and let sit in a warm area (I find a good sunlit window, or if cloudy, a window that normally gets sun). Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about an hour (I usually make my dough early in the day and let it go for an hour and a half or two, I haven’t found any harm in it…thus, why I bake on Sundays).
After the dough has doubled in size, punch out the air and roll out again onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into roughly equal sized portions of your liking (note, they still have another rise left in them). Chef in You says it made 10 rolls for them, well I got about 18-20 rolls, so it all depends on your preference.
If you want to refrigerate the dough (or any extra) for another day, I’d do it here. I’d individually wrap the rolls in Saran Wrap and place them in the fridge.
Place the rolls onto a baking sheet and cover. Let them rise until they’ve doubled in size again (check on them after 30 minutes, can take up to an hour). If you place the baking sheet on top of your oven that is pre-heating, it should speed up the process of this second rise if you are short on time. Pre-heat your oven to 400F and bake rolls for 15-20 minutes or until ever so slightly browned on the top, mine took ~18 minutes (will vary greatly with your particular oven, elevation, etc.).
These turn out to be surprisingly moist and delicious rolls, even when re-heated! The Bulgar wheat adds an amazing texture and moisture to the mix. I’d be hard-pressed to make my rolls without the coarse Bulgar texture, but if you do want less texture in your rolls, by all means use fine-medium grained Bulgar wheat.
This roll was fresh out of the oven and smelled delicious! I then tore it open to see the beautiful crumb hiding beneath the crisp exterior. Such a great contrast in texture and full of flavor!
So good…that it took much restraint for me not to gobble it up as I was taking the pictures…
Just a great, all purpose, multi-use dinner roll. It is going to become a staple in our diet!
Again, stay tuned for my next Training Update with our training recap and the results of our Christmas Cookie Swap!