Rye-se Up Rolls!


I hope you got the Atlanta Falcons reference! And, yes it was intentional…corny, I know. I had hoped to post this a few days ago. I was afraid it would be bad luck. In the end, I guess it didn’t matter. We Falcons Fans went from the heights of giddiness to the depths of depression in record time.

In the grand scheme of things it isn’t the trophy but the struggle that makes you stronger!

I’m sorry about my blogging absence. January went by in a flash with boring but busy Mom stuff. Then a trip to Orlando rounded out the month. Lack of blogging motivation hasn’t helped. I work on a recipe and don’t like the outcome enough to post it. Or, think of 5 things to blog about and somehow can’t get my ideas organized. Discombobulation! (Said like a swear word).

I have, however, been baking like mad! Since I began baking bread weekly last winter I’ve noticed a major reduction in my son’s hyperactivity level. He sees a neurologist for non-life threatening reasons. His diagnosis has caused ADD like symptoms and we’ve tried several medications over the years with limited success. During one visit the neurologist recommended a diet free from preservatives and artificial colors/flavors.

At first, I didn’t buy into it. We have food sensitivities and allergies in my family so my son was tested for allergies to negative results. I just didn’t believe cutting those ingredients would benefit my son’s behavior. I was very wrong! We worked gradually to eliminate processed foods, tolerance testing along the way to see if it was really helping. The last pillar was cutting out store bought bread.

Ironically, it had the biggest impact of all. I now read ingredient labels carefully in packaged food, check out nutritional info online before patronizing a restaurant, and bake most of our bread products. At first it was just a weekly loaf of bread. Now I bake everything from bread to rolls to pizza dough and love experimenting. I have seen so much yeast come alive, I feel like it’s another member of the family!

I love how I can make it healthier by mixing flours for variety and nutrition and enriching my dough to add flavor. I no longer care for store bought bread, it doesn’t taste like anything.

This roll recipe has subtle rye flavor, with a slightly chewy crumb and crust that holds up well for heartier sandwiches or spreads. You can substitute whole wheat flour for the rye flour if you don’t have it.


Chewy Rye Rolls

1 cup rye flour (I used organic, sprouted rye)

1/3 cup spelt flour (use bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour if you don’t have this)

1 cup room temperature water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Mix the above ingredients together in a medium bowl to make a poolish (sponge). Cover and let yeast work for at least 4 hours-I prefer to mix this the day before and put in the fridge overnight. Let come to room temperature before using the next day. More time = more flavor!

Place your sponge in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with dough hook and add the following ingredients:

1/3 cup lukewarm water (cooler than 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground caraway seed*

1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed*

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons molasses

2 large eggs (plus a little beaten egg for brushing on the rolls)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup potato starch

1 & 1/3 to 1 & 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

You may not need all of the flour, or you may need a little more. Dough is ready when it is slightly stiff, but smooth and slightly sticky.

Cover with greased cling wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, it should double in size. Uncover, punch dough down and let it rest at least 10 minutes.

Line 2 sheet or cookie pans with parchment and set aside. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, divide into two halves and shape each half into a log. Divide each log into six to eight equal pieces, and roll the pieces into balls. Place balls on lined baking sheets, leaving space between them to rise, and flatten slightly with your palms.

Cover the rolls with greased cling wrap and let rise again for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit about 15 minutes before the rolls are done rising.

Rolls are ready to bake when light touch with the finger leaves a slight impression and doesn’t bounce back.

Remove cling wrap, brush the rolls with beaten egg and place in the preheated oven to bake. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on size.Rolls are done when light golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.

For darker color, add a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder to the flour mix, or a teaspoon of molasses to the egg wash.

*Toast whole caraway and celery seed briefly in a shallow saute pan, let cool then grind. Use some in the recipe and reserve some for garnishing the rolls.