Whole Wheat Flaxseed Rolls

One of our 2010 goals here at Happy Acres was to bake all of our own bread and other bakery products this year. I am happy to report that so far we have done just that. We have bought no baked bread, only flour and other baking ingredients.

As we work our way through different recipes and ingredients, this is one recipe we’ve settled on as a New Favorite. I adapted it from a Cooking Light recipe I found that sounded promising. When I made the rolls the first time, following the recipe exactly, I thought the rolls were too small and dense. So I started making changes.

fresh from the oven rolls

Eventually I arrived at this recipe. We’re happy with the results. These rolls are lighter and less dense than the original recipe, due to the addition of vital wheat gluten to give them more rise. I knead the dough with a Kitchenaid mixer, using the dough hook. It only takes about 5 minutes of machine-kneading to produce a nice elastic dough.

Whole Wheat Flaxseed Rolls Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

1/3 cup flaxseed
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 cup warm skim milk (100° to 110°) (changed from 2% milk)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vital wheat gluten (added ingredient)
1 tbsp canola oil (increased amount)
Cooking spray
1 tbsp water
1 large egg white
2 tbsp flaxseed

1. Place 1/3 cup flaxseed in a blender or clean coffee grinder, and process until ground to measure 1/2 cup flaxseed meal; set aside.

2. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Add flaxseed meal, whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, salt, and vital wheat gluten to a mixing bowl. Use whisk to combine dry ingredients. Add oil to yeast mixture, then add liquid ingredients to mixing bowl.

3. Stir to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

5. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each portion into a ball (cover remaining dough while working to prevent it from drying). Place dough balls 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until dough is doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 425°.

7. Uncover rolls; cut a 1/4-inch-deep incision in top of each roll. Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg white, and brush over rolls. Sprinkle rolls with 2 tablespoons flaxseed. Bake at 425° for 15-20  minutes or until rolls are browned on the bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove rolls from pan.

Servings: 12 rolls (reduced from 18)

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 214 calories, 27 calories from fat, 3.1g total fat, <1mg cholesterol, 405.6mg sodium, 106.4mg potassium, 38.1g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 4.5g sugar, 7.9g protein, 48.4mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.

Note: These rolls freeze well. To freeze, cool rolls completely and store in a
zip-top freezer bag.

Tip: Vital wheat gluten can be found in the baking section of most groceries or health food stores. Adding it helps baked recipes with whole grains and seeds rise better.

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6 Responses to Whole Wheat Flaxseed Rolls

  1. My, what beautiful buns! That’s one recipe I’m definitely adding to my files. I see you must use golden flax. I have brown flax, so my buns will probably look like ants are crawling all over them 😉

    • Villager says:

      Yes, I use the Golden flaxseeds. I don’t know that they taste any different, but I do like the way they look – especially on my buns!

  2. Gorgeous rolls! It is amazing the difference vital wheat gluten can make to the structure of the bread. We use it in our sourdough to give it a more predictable rise. I was a little surprised to see that this recipe uses all-purpose flour, which is a low-protein flour. Have you tried making these rolls with a high-gluten bread flour? I know the VWG is basically boosting the protein in the AP, but I’d be curious how the recipe would behave with bread flour.

    Kudos to you for making all your own bread this year too. I haven’t quite managed that, although I do bake the vast majority of our own bread. This recipe looks like it’s quite fast though. Next time I don’t want to spend 2 days crafting sourdough loaves, I’ll definitely give these a try!

    • Villager says:

      I’ve not tried it with bread flour, mostly because we just don’t usually have it on hand. We keep KA whole wheat, white whole wheat, and unbleached AP flours around and that’s quite a bit to keep stored as it is.

      The rolls are quick to put together, and it also makes portion control easy, though there’s nothing to stop me from having TWO rolls!

  3. debsgarden says:

    Oh, my, these look delicious! I used to bake our own bread, long ago before three children in five years. This makes me remember how good it was. I may have to pick it back up!

  4. How wonderful to bake your own bread. I started 6 months ago and haven’t looked back yet :^) Thank you for sharing your recipe. They look delicious!

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