Joshua Makes Bread or How I Get Fresh Rolls for Saturday Supper

After a long week of writing, cooking, baking, directing, practising and dogsindogsout/getthecatoutfrom underneath that stairway, it’s just cool to kick back and grill a few lamb chops for dinner.  Maybe steam some cauliflower and add a little gouda on top.  Open a Christom Syrah.

What’s better?  Maybe add a good friend and baker to the mix.  Enter Joshua.

Bread Baker Par Excellence
And, wow, he gets kneading
And kneading
And kneading…
Really, not so much kneading for this recipe, because it’s mostly done in the bread machine.  Mixed and risen (1.5 hours) in the machine, taken out and shaped, put in buttered pan, left to rise just a bit (I threw it in a 200 F oven for 3 minutes to push the second rise), covered and left to sit and amuse themselves while they got bigger for about and hour, baked for…oh, 20 minutes+/- at 350F.

Pretty handy fellow to have around, eh?

Making the tiny buns….
Pinching each roll…
Brushing the butter on the rolls…

Whole Wheat Rolls in the Bread Machine

–adjusted here for making at altitude–*

Adapted from a recipe by the late Bill Kalbus, Montana Hotelier and Baker extraordinaire.  Bill may have developed this from an old Betty Crocker recipe, but I’m unsure about that.


1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons at room temp (extra 2T for altitude baking)

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons butter, soft

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups bread flour (all-purpose white will work, too)

1t salt

2 teaspoons dry yeast (1 pkg), NOT fast-rising–you can use fast rising yeast at sea level, but just not at altitude

1 tablespoon  wheat germ, optional

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted—for brushing before baking


In a medium bowl, whisk together water, honey, butter and eggs.  Set aside.  Into the bread maker (mine makes 1 or 2 # loaves and there’s plenty of room), place the flours, salt, yeast and wheat germ.  Pour the liquids on top and turn the machine on the “Dough only” or Mix and rise setting.  My old Oster takes about 1.5 hours to mix and rise this dough. My new Zorjirushi takes 1 hour, 28 min.  As dough is quite forgiving, you can mix it by hand, by electric mixer w/ dough hook or in your bread machine, which I think does the best job mixing.

After the dough has risen and about doubled (over an hour usually), punch down dough and remove it from the machine onto a well-floured counter.   Knead a bit to take away the sticky and add a dusting of flour as needed.  We needed probably another 3-5 tablespoons and had to knead about 2 minutes total. 
Divide the dough in half and in half again and in thirds so that you have 12 fairly even pieces of dough.  Roll each one into a ball, pulling together at bottom like a  purse and pinching together.   Place seam-side down in a buttered 9x11x2″ metal cake pan.  Brush top of rolls with the 2 tablespoons melted butter.  

Let rise another hour or so (stick it in a warm oven for a couple of minutes if you want to “push” the rise), covered by a heavy towel or a buttered piece of plastic wrap.

Preheat oven to 350 and bake on center rack about 20 minutes until quite brown. Remove to a rack and let rest a minute or two (or longer) before eating with honey and butter or as you see fit.
-These keep, well-wrapped for a day or so and freeze very well for up to 2 weeks.  Lovely to make ahead for Thanksgiving.

*When I make these rolls at sea level, I raise the yeast to 3 teaspoons and eliminate the extra tablespoons of water.  The wheat germ is optional, but gives the rolls a bit more depth of flavor and makes them look more brown and quite lovely.

{printable recipe}


Rolls after the second rising.







Nice combination

Sing a new song,



additional photos added november, 2012

5 thoughts on “Joshua Makes Bread or How I Get Fresh Rolls for Saturday Supper

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