Soft Rolls

Soft Rolls
A batch of these soft rolls makes three dozen, and they freeze very well. They are the perfect size for a toddler sandwich, a 1/4 pound burger, a dunk for soup, or a treat with butter and honey. If sliced thinly, they make four slices for crispy toast.

2 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm liquid whey (or water)
2 tbsp (or two packages) active, dry yeast

2 cups lukewarm liquid whey (or 1/2 and 1/2 milk and water)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp lite salt (optional)
8-9 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the cup of warm whey. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the whey and sugar and olive oil.

Stir in the yeast mixture. Add the flour, one cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed that does not stick to the bowl. Turn out the dough onto the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes, working in as much of the flour as possible.

Pour about a tablespoon of oil into the bottom of a clean bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, and turn the ball around in the bowl, coating one side well with oil. Flip it over, oil-side-up. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to double, 45 minutes to an hour.

Once doubled, punch dough down and let it double again. Once doubled again, punch it down and divide it into into thirty-two small balls of dough. (The fastest way to do this is to twist the dough into two, then each half into two quarters, the quarters into eighths, the eighths into sixteenths, and the sixteenths into thirty-seconds. ) Take each little chunk of dough in your hand, and form a ball by pushing the dough into the center of itself with your thumbs, making it smooth on one side. Pinch the other side to seal the ball, to keep the dough from springing out of its shape. Form all thirty-two rolls.

Pour another tablespoon of oil into the bowl. Lay your hands in the oil to lightly coat. Pick up each ball and gently roll it between the palms of your hands, lightly coating it with the oil. Place the dough balls at least two inches apart on baking sheets. Allow it to rise again, about half an hour to forty-five minutes before baking. (If your kitchen is very warm, they will rise faster; if your kitchen is cooler they will rise more slowly.)

Bake for about 17 minutes at 375F

(The first pan will rise quite a bit in the oven. The last pan will rise more on the counter but less in the oven. They should all be about the same size when baked. If you double the recipe, place half of the dough in the fridge right after kneading, then start forming the balls while the first pan are baking.)

Also try:

1) Add 1 cup wheat bran. It will still have the manageability of white bread with added fiber.

2) Substitute water for the liquid whey and add 2 tsp of lite salt. The buns will have about 65mg of sodium each. (There is some sodium in whey and without adding a little back the bread will taste flat.) Store these in the fridge or freeze as they will tend to dry out faster.

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