Bread making is by far one of my favorite things to do. It’s incredibly rewarding and therapeutic.
This recipe came about around a year and a half ago, but I just never got around to sharing it. My husband and I made drastic changes to our diet and eating whole wheat was important to us. We also were trying to avoid eating processed foods as much as possible. (Something we’ve grown more relaxed about since then, but we’re getting back on track.) I scoured the internet looking for 100% whole wheat bread recipes and there really just wasn’t much out there. Everything I read said that in order to get a good texture, you had to use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white wheat. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so I set out to make my own recipe. It took several tries, but I finally succeeded. This bread has a great texture, great flavor, is easy to make and is better for you than store bought bread.
I decided to go the sandwich roll route, because it’s easier to throw into a lunch bag and go. I don’t have to worry about slicing a loaf and praying it doesn’t fall apart. (Side note: These rolls are easily sliced in half lengthwise and toast wonderfully. They don’t crumble and fall apart in your hands.) One of my favorite things to do with them is to toast them and smear some ricotta mixed with dried herbs on top. So good!
Let’s talk about the recipe a little bit, before we get into it…
1 recipe makes 19 rolls at 3 oz of dough each. We found that it would keep for 4-5 days in an air tight container on the counter or 9-10 days in an air tight container in the refrigerator. You could also freeze them after they have cooled from baking — then you would just have to thaw them before use. If you prefer to make them on a more regular basis, but don’t want 19 rolls, you can halve the recipe. I’ll share the measurements that I use for a half recipe a little later.
A food scale is not absolutely necessary to make this bread, but I really, really, really recommend one. They aren’t very expensive and are incredibly helpful for baking in general. When baking, measurements need to be precise.
This recipe also makes great dinner rolls. Instead of rolling them into discs, roll them into balls and slightly press them down. I imagine you could also roll them into hot dog bun shapes, if you wanted.
You can buy your flaxseed whole or already ground. If you buy them whole, just be sure to grind them really well.
And now for the recipe…
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
(The measurements I use when making half of the recipe is in italics and parentheses.)
775g Whole Wheat Flour (38g)
125g Ground Flaxseed (63g)
2 3/4 cup Hot Water (1 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoons)
**Somewhere in the 120°F-130°F range
1/3 cup Olive Oil (2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup Molasses (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Sea Salt (1/2 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons yeast (1 tablespoon)
In a bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour and the flaxseed very thoroughly
In another large bowl, whisk together the water, olive oil, molasses and sea salt
Whisk roughly 2 cups of the flour mixture into the liquid mixture until it forms a thick paste
Sprinkle the yeast on top and whisk it in
Add the rest of the flour and (using your hands) mix until there is no more dry flour
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and allow it to rest for 45 minutes in a warm environment
**If your kitchen is cold, just turn your oven on for about a minute to briefly warm it. Turn the oven off, place the bowl inside and close the door.
After 45 minutes, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-7 minutes
**Add additional flour a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky. Use the least amount of additional flour that you can get away with to keep the bread from being too dry.
Using the food scale, separate the dough into 3 oz (+ or – 1/8 oz is ok) pieces — you will have roughly 19 sections
Roll each section into a ball, using a little more flour if they are really sticky
Using a rolling pin, roll the balls into 1/4 inch discs
Place on a cookie sheet and allow them to rest while you preheat the oven to 350°F
Once the oven is preheated, bake them for 15 minutes
Allow them to cool and store them in airtight container on the counter for 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for 9-10 days