Introduction: Delicious Whole Wheat Butterflake Rolls

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Butterflake rolls that will leave your family begging for more!  The recipe is a must have in our home for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners.  It's a bit of work, but they are well worth it.

I'll show how to make these using freshly ground wheat flour.  If you don't have a wheat grinder, you can use wheat flour from the grocery store, or you can follow the original recipe and use white flour.  Any way you do it, they will be great!

We use fresh ground (literally fresh -- ground as it is needed) wheat from our long term food storage.  The results are amazing.  They will not rise quite as high as the white flour version, but they seem to last better (without drying out), and everybody, the children included love them this way!

Step 1: Ingredients

For 3 dozen rolls (all of the images will show a doubled batch that makes 6 dozen):
  •  2 packages of quick rise yeast
  • 1/4 cup for warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water (not boiling)
  • 6 to 8 cups flour
  • 3 sticks of soft butter
If you are making whole wheat rolls from freshly ground wheat add:
  • 2 Tablespoons Dough Enhancer
  • Use Hard White Wheat to make the 6 to 8 cups of flour!
I use Blue Chip Baker Dough Enhancer, 4 tablespoons for a double recipe.  I've also used homemade dough enhancer successfully in previous years.  Many food storage sites will have recipes for making dough enhancer.  And, you can get by without it.  If you do, you might want to add a few tablespoons of wheat gluten that you can find at any grocery store.

Remember that the less flour you use the better.  You need enough to be able to handle the dough, but more will make the rolls too heavy and they will not rise well.  Fine white flour may produce the best rising rolls, but the rolls made from fresh ground wheat can't be beat!

You can find Hard White Wheat at many grocery stores and stores like Whole Foods.  It is very inexpensive when purchased in bulk.  If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or if you have a friend or co-work that is a member, ask them to purchase a 25-lb. bag of Hard White Wheat from the Church Cannery.  A 25lb. bag costs roughly $6, and when properly canned (which you can do at most canneries) it will last almost forever.  Don't try to can the ground flour though, unless you can freeze it.  The oils in the flour will make it rancid after a few days, if not frozen.

Don't use Red Wheat!  You can try it, but it is typically much heavier than the albino form (Hard White Wheat), and tastes much more "wheaty."  Our children use fresh ground Hard White Wheat to make chocolate chip cookies, and they like it as well as white flour.  We made the mistake of using Hard Red Wheat for waffles once...  They all went into the trash.  If your storage is mostly Red Wheat, I hope you have better luck with it than I have had.

Finally, there are many great wheat grinders on the market.  I really like my Tribest Wolfgang Grain Mill, but they are very expensive.  You can find a good electric grinder for much less -- probably right around $200 for an impact grinder.  Tribest mills are nice because they look nice left out on the counter top, and the produce flour on demand.  Many of the impact grinders have a large canister underneath that collects the flour, and the sound like and airplane engine, but they do a great job and can be used for far more than just wheat.  We have a K-Tec mill that we use for making fresh corn meal (really corn flour) from popcorn and larger dent corn.  These can be found new for less than $200.  Shop around and find something you like and will use.  It is a worthy investment if you like fresh flour or have invested in long and mid-term food storage.  There are many brands and types to choose from, from the impact mills that explode the kernel into flour to the stone grind mills like the Tribest mill.  There are even some that include an oat roller for making fresh rolled oats for granola or cereal from oat groats.

Again, don't be alarmed by the cost of the mills.  If you don't have one, try this with store boughten wheat flour, or white flour.  They would probably be even lighter with cake flour, but I haven't tried that yet!

Step 2: Soften the Yeast

The first step is easy, open the yeast packets and soften the yeast in a 1/4 cup of warm water.  If you are doubling the recipe, use 4 packets of yeast and 1/2 cup warm water.  If the water is too hot you can kill the yeast.  Lukewarm will do fine.

While the yeast is softening it is a good idea to start mixing the ingredients in the next step.  Also, if you are grinding wheat into flour, now is a good time to grind the first couple of cups.

Step 3: Mix the Liquids...

While the yeast is softening, and possibly while the wheat is grinding (if you are using fresh ground wheat), use an electric mixer to beat the:
  • eggs (2)
  • sugar (1/3 cup)
  • salt (1 teaspoon)
  • evaporated milk (1 1/4 cup)
  • and hot water (1 cup)
The hot water should not be boiling.  Once it is mixed with the room temperature milk and cold eggs it should be about the right temperature to promote yeast growth -- probably just a little warmer than lukewarm.

A Kitchen Aid mixer is great for this job.  It has enough power that you will not need to mix flour in by hand.

Step 4: Add the Yeast and Flour...

Next add the softened yeast into the mix.  Once it is well mixed, begin adding flour slowly!  Add the flour 1 cup at a time.

If you are using freshly ground wheat, mix your dough enhancer or gluten into the flour while adding it to the liquid mixture.

Only add enough flour to make the dough manageable.  The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky.  Use as little of the flour as possible, though you will probably need just about 6 cups to make it manageable.  This will keep the rolls light and flaky.

Now is a good time to get your muffin tins out and spray them with cooking oil (Olive oil based is best!)

Step 5: Shape and Butter the Rolls!

Clear off a big space on a counter top or pastry board, clean it well, and then cover it with flour.

Now pour the dough out of the bowl onto the side of the floured surface.  (Have plenty of flour on hand.)  Make sure the flour your hands.

Divide the dough into 3 portions (or 6 if doubling the recipe.)

For each portion, follow these steps:
  1. Roll the portion of dough into a rectangle about 10 by 12 inches
  2. Spread soft butter across the entire rectangle
  3. Fold the rectangle in half and roll it out again to approximately 10 by 12 inches
  4. Repeat this procedure until you have used an entire stick of butter.  It should come out to be about 5 to 8 times.
Remember to only add enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter / pastry board, and rolling pin.  Spread each layer with butter before folding the dough.  You can use less than a stick of butter per dozen, but I recommend 1 square per dozen rolls.  If you use less, have at least 6 layers / folds.

Next, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 squares.  Place the squares in the greased muffin tin with the layers lengthwise (90 degrees to the bottom of the tin) so that the layers will fan out as the dough rises and cooks.

Repeat these steps with each portion of dough, and place the pans in a warm dark place to allow the dough to rise.  The rolls must be cooked when they have risen (maybe as long as 2 hours) to about double in size.  Otherwise they will fall.  To keep them from falling avoid bumping the pan, etc.

Step 6: Rise and Bake

Allow rolls to rise.  Depending on the yeast you use this may take up to four hours.  I've found that with quick rise yeast my first batch is nearly ready to cook when the last batch is done being rolled out and placed into the pan (when making 6 dozen.)  This is substantially less than four hours, probably closer to 1 and a half.

Bake the rolls at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, for 7 to 12 minutes.  Watch them closely or they will burn.  They should be a nice golden brown, more golden than brown.

They are best while hot, with butter and honey or jam, but they are still great the next day with or without more butter, and with or without honey or jam!

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