Overnight honey-lemon whole-wheat rolls

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Makes 24 rolls
Overnight honey-lemon whole-wheat rolls

If using a food processor, attach the short plastic dough blade and add the bread flour or all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, hot water, honey, shortening and lemon peel to the bowl of the processor. Pulse to make a batter-like dough. With the machine running, measure in 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour. Blend well. Turn off the machine and let the batter rest for 3 minutes, until the whole-wheat flour has been absorbed. Turn on the machine and gradually add 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour through the tube. Turn off the machine, remove the cover and feel the dough. It should be soft and a bit sticky, but a solid (not hard) mass.


If using a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, combine the bread flour, yeast and salt in the mixing bowl. Combine the hot water, honey, shortening and zest (check the temperature of the mixture; if it isn’t hot enough, microwave for a few seconds to bring it up to the right temperature). Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture in the bowl of the mixer. Beat to combine, then beat in 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour or enough to make a soft dough.


If using a food processor, turn on the machine and knead for 45 seconds, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too heavy and the processor stalls, remove and continue by hand. (If this happens to you, as it invariably does to me, turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. It will be sticky but light. Add sprinkles of the bread flour or all-purpose flour as necessary and knead by hand. Depending on how long your dough was kneaded in the machine, you may be kneading for up to 10 minutes, adding flour as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Test to see if you’ve kneaded enough by slapping your hand on the dough, holding it there for a count of 10, then lifting your hand up. If bits of dough stick or cling to your hand, continue to knead, adding flour. If the hand comes off clean, the dough’s ready for the next step.)


If using the mixer, knead with the dough hook, sprinkling in more bread flour or all-purpose flour as needed, until the dough is satiny and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.


Form the kneaded dough into a mound and cover it with wax paper. Let it rest for 20 minutes.


Knead the dough for 30 seconds to press out any air bubbles. Using a sharp knife or dough blade, cut off pieces of dough a little bigger than golf balls. Roll between your hands to form balls. Place each ball on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, flattening slightly with the palm of your hand.


Brush the rolls with oil. Cover with plastic wrap that is loose enough to allow the rolls to rise but is sealed around the edges to hold in the moisture.


Place the sheets of rolls in the refrigerator overnight.


Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them sit, covered, at room temperature about 25 minutes while the oven heats to 400 degrees. Place a small cake pan on the floor of the oven to heat as the oven heats. Have about a dozen ice cubes ready.


Uncover the rolls. Place the rolls in the oven, then quickly and carefully place the ice cubes into the hot pan on the bottom of the oven (steam will rise immediately) and close the oven door.


Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until the rolls are browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

From “The New Complete Book of Breads” by Bernard Clayton Jr. The rhythm of this recipe fits nicely into modern life. You use a food processor (although you may have to finish up by hand) to make the dough the night before. The rising (one only) happens while you sleep, and then the rolls are popped into the oven the next morning for a special breakfast or brunch.

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